Submitted by Melissa Howsam — Correspondent
2014 RALEIGH ST. PATRICKS DAY PARADE AND FESTIVAL: City Plaza, Raleigh, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free.
Get your bagpipe n kilt fix with the Raleigh St. Patricks Day Parade and Festival, this year with a new start time (10 a.m.) and route (around the Capitol Building and down Fayetteville Street, ending in City Plaza, where the festival will begin). Beer (surely itll flow green?), Irish fare and wares will fill your Saturday with plenty o Paddys fun, while your pint-size fam members can let loose on Leprechaun Lane with child-friendly activities. Homeland will open the Shamrock n Roll stage, preceding headliners Carbon Leaf at 5 p.m. The Celtic Street Stage will keep the bagpipes blaring with traditional Irish dancers to boot all afternoon.
ST. PATRICKS DAY ANNUAL BLOUNT STREET PARTY: Blount Street, The Pour House and Tir na Nog, Raleigh, Saturday, 10 a.m. Free.
Legend has it Leprechauns are lucky. Odds are you might get lucky too when you party like the Irish for 12 straight hours. Blount Street with an all-day Paddys party. Closed to traffic from Hargett to Martin streets (from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.), the best o Irish eats, beats, sips and entertainment with an outside stage (show from 1 p.m. through 10 p.m., like Inis cairde Irish dancers at 1 p.m. to Wake & District Pipes & Drums at 5 p.m.) and inside stage at Tir Na Nog (kicking off with Irish Dancers at 10 a.m. and wrapping with headliners Barleyjuice). Non-Irish-fiendin Paddys players can hit up The Pour House for some Brooklyn-based hip-hop spanning the 80s to present day via a ten-piece brass band, PitchBlack Brass Band and more.
ST. PATRICKS DAY BLOCK PARTY: Hibernian, Downtown Raleigh, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Unless youve been living under a blarney stone than you know Hibernian has Phoenixd it up from the ashes and risen just in time for a good ole Paddys block party, in conjunction with Napper Tandys. Shutting down the 300 block of West North Street, the all-day Irish affair will serve up live music (starting at 2 p.m.), bagpipe bands (obvi), Explosionville (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and lots of Irish fare with plenty of pints to spare, no doubt.
ALL-DAY ST. PATTYS PARTY: West 94th Pub, Durham, all day.
Car bombs and Killians are on special for the irond stomached at the Bull Citys West 94th St. Pub. Nosh on Irish-themed dishes (corned beef, shepherds pie, reubens) with endless Guinness pints to wash it all down. The menu is available from Friday, March 14 to Monday, March 17.
CELEBRATE THE IRISH! COOKING CLASS: Whisk, Cary, Friday, 6:15 p.m. $59.
Enough green beer? Channel your inner Irish chef in Whisks kitchen with an Irish cooking class. Master corned beef and cabbage (in Emerald Isle tradition) with chef Bill Donovan, plus three of his specialities, all to Irish tunes while sipping Guinness. Magically delicious, indeed.
HANDS ON COOKING CLASS: KISS ME! IM IRISH: Durham Spirits Company, Saturday, 6 to 8 p.m. $59.
Cant get enough? Try your luck with Irish cooking in the Bull City, this time Irish Whiskey to complement. Menu includes soda bread, house-cured corned beef, Irish lamb stew, beer-braised cabbage, glazed carrots and pearl onions, and chocolate-stout cake. Um, yum.
TENT SPECTACULAR: Trali, Raleigh (Brier Creek), Friday, 6:15 p.m.
Guinness will be flowing in full force at Tralis annual tent spectacular. Come get your jig on with the tunes of The Roscommers & Rob Sharer, Wake County Pipe & Drum: The Gravy Boys, Inis Cairde School of Irish Dance, and late night with DJ Mark McNally.
THE OFFICIAL DOWNTOWN RALEIGH SHAMROCK EXPERIENCE: Rum Runners, Raleigh, Friday, 6 p.m. $5 Cover online or $10 at the door. Drink specials all night.
Get your green on no, literally with the official shamrock experience. Green-garbed PYTs aplenty will mix and mingle for an Italian (you were expecting Irish, no?) dinner buffet (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) and live piano show to follow with DJ. Special guest performances by La Vern from the hit play A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Ten percent of proceeds from teh event go to Swim for Life, an org that helps underprivileged kids receive swim lessons. Safe partiers not looking to cab can shuttle to and from with the Shamrock Limo and/or Party Bus.