Ways to Celebrate This St. Patricks' Day

Irish events and inspiration in Manchester, Portsmouth and beyond



Catch the Irish trad musicians of Solas in Portsmouth on St. Paddy's Day.

Photo courtesy of the Music Hall

They say there are two types of people in the world: the Irish and those who wish they were. Their national holiday, then, draws crowds around the world and offers a wide range of festivities, with celebrations often extending far beyond the observed date of March 17. Towns around New Hampshire have kicked it into gear for the holiday this year, with events and ideas all over the state for how to channel your Irish roots (real or imagined) this St. Patrick's Day. Whether you're looking for old-fashioned and Irish or newfangled and Americanized, here are some ways to make some memories and appreciate good ol' Saint Patrick, right here in New Hampshire.


Hit an Irish Pub

Ri Ra Irish Pub (Portsmouth), March 17

Ri Ra Irish Pub will be opening their doors at 8 a.m. on St. Paddy's Day for a day full of events. There will be live entertainment beginning at noon with Oran Mor. The rest of the day includes a performance from Irish step dancers at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., a set from The Foggy Dudes at 5 p.m, and a performance by Letsah Polyestah at 10 p.m. Good beer, authentic food and fantastic entertainment will encompass a day filled with fun and Irish spirit.


Some good Irish laughs (and tunes)

St. Patrick’s Comedy Gala (Portsmouth), March 18

The Boston Irish Comedy Tour will be entertaining anyone looking to get some St. Paddy’s laughs at the Music Hall Saturday night from 8 to 10 p.m. Successful comedians Jim McCue, Joey Carol and Jimmy “PJ” Walsh will be hitting the stage. In addition, the comedians will be joined by The Murray Academy of Irish Dance and Grimes Irish, as well as bagpiper David O’ Connor. Partial proceeds of the event will go to the Dan Healy Foundation and Veterans Count. (If music's more your style, head to the Music Hall Friday night for a performance from popular Irish trad band Solas.)

Away from the Seacoast, catch the comedy gala at the Lebanon Opera House on Friday night, where the funnymen are joined by the Connolly Celtic Dancers and fiddle and pipe duo Brinytide.


Get Active

Clover Run 5K (Portsmouth), March 18

Whether it’s to amp up your fitness or to run off the beer from the night before, the Clover Run 5K is a smart addition to your Paddy's weekend. The race begins at 10:30 a.m. at Peirce Island and finishes at Prescott Park. All are welcome, including children and adults of all ages. Proceeds from the event benefit St. Patrick School.

Shamrock Half Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle (Manchester), March 25 & 26

This year, Manchester's longstanding Paddy's Day race has expanded into a St. Patrick’s weekend full of running that caters to all different levels. Saturday will be for all of those leprechauns who are ready to take on the Shamrock Half Marathon, and Sunday will be for any others who would like to participate in the two-mile Shamrock Shuffle. Throw on the green sneakers and get moving!


Stay Traditional

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (Dover), March 18

What better way to celebrate St. Paddy’s day than wearing green head to toe? Throw on your best St. Paddy’s day attire and enjoy a day full of St. Paddy’s events. Dover’s annual parade will start at 1 p.m. and there will also be events before and after including food trucks, vendors, a scavenger hunt, kid’s activities and more. The parade will begin at the Outlook at the Duncan Center.

Manchester’s Annual St. Patrick’s Parade (Manchester), March 26

If one weekend of parades isn’t enough for you, head on over to Manchester’s Annual St. Patrick’s Parade the following weekend. Despite the off-peak date, the same rules apply: have fun and wear green. The parade will start at noon on Elm Street and continues from Salmon to Central Street.      


Learn a little something

Tracing Irish Roots (Concord), March 25

For those looking to learn a little something this St. Patrick’s Day, the New Hampshire Historical Society is holding a workshop in conjunction with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Learn more about your ancestors' Irish origins and get educated about some in-depth Irish genealogy.

Songs of Emigration (Manchester), March 25

The Millyard Museum is offering up a chance to learn about Ireland’s music traditions. Head to this NH Humanities event the weekend after Paddy's Day to catch Celtic fiddler Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki telling stories through Irish folk songs. It is an awesome opportunity to listen to some wonderful music, and learn some history along the way.


Staying in for the weekend?

Try these recipes — along with a pint of Eire-inspired local beer like Beara Irish Brewing Co.'s — for a fun and festive St. Patrick’s Day at home!

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Shamrock Shake Smoothie

Irish Colcannon


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