St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, but here’s your guide to celebrate all weekend

A quick history of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day is a celebration on the anniversary of St. Patrick's death in the fifth century.
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St. Patrick's Day is a celebration on the anniversary of St. Patrick's death in the fifth century.

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday, the Triangle will be painted green all weekend long. Some of the area’s most popular Irish bars have planned two-day affairs across Saturday and Sunday.

The main St. Patrick’s Day event is downtown Raleigh’s annual parade and festival on Saturday, March 16. This is the 37th annual Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day parade, having started in 1983.

This year’s parade starts at 10 a.m., beginning at Lane and Wilmington streets, near the Legislative Mall, and ending at Salisbury and Lenoir streets. The grand marshal for 2019 is ABC11 meteorologist Don Schwenneker aka “Big Weather.” Following the parade will be the annual festival along Fayetteville Street, including Irish music and dancing, as well as food and craft vendors. For more details, visit

Hibernian Irish Pub is throwing a two-day St. Patrick’s Day street party on Glenwood South and its location in North Raleigh. On Saturday, festivities begin at 12 noon and include live music and Irish dancers until 11 p.m. On Sunday, March 17, doors open at 11 a.m., and music, dancing and drinks continue to 2 a.m.

O’Malley’s Pub & Restaurant in Raleigh starts celebrating earlier than perhaps anyone else. The Irish bar at 528 Hollyridge Drive has a three-day affair, starting Friday with drink specials like $4 Guinness pints, continuing Saturday and Sunday with discounted whiskey and Irish beer, green-colored beer, dancing and live music.

Tra’li Irish Pub, with locations in Morrisville and Brier Creek, will host live music Saturday and Sunday.

London Bridge Pub, 110 E. Hargett St., Raleigh, will celebrate all weekend, starting Saturday, March 16, at 10 a.m. and continuing Sunday on until 2 a.m. Monday morning. Food specials include bangers and mash, fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage for $10.

Doherty’s Irish Pub, 1979 High House Road, Cary, called the best Irish Pub in the area by the N&O’s dining critic Greg Cox, will throw an outdoor St. Patrick’s party starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, going until midnight and resuming Sunday at 11 a.m. Each day features a half-dozen bands, bagpipes and dancing.

Ponysaurus Brewery in Durham is offering a free beer to the Patricks, Patricias, Patels and anyone else with a name starting with “Pat.” The celebration begins Sunday at noon and rolls on to midnight at the brewery at 219 Hood St., Durham.

James Joyce, 912 W. Main St., Durham, opens at 10 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, featuring authentic Irish food, drinks and live music.

Bull McCabe’s, 427 W. Main St., Durham opens at 11 a.m. Sunday with the largest patio in town, featuring bagpipes, dancers, live music and a nighttime DJ. Owners say the atmosphere will stay family friendly until 9 p.m. and festivities continuing until 2 a.m.

When the doughnuts are green

You could set your calendar by the color of Krispy Kreme’s doughnuts. The doughnut giant will reprise their bright green St. Patrick’s doughnuts starting Friday, March 15 through March 17.

Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.