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Lucky You! 4 Philly Area St. Patrick’s Day Events

Deb Dellapena

Deb Dellapena

Staff Writer & Copy Editor

Posted October 1, 2014

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Philadelphia ranks 8th as the nation’s most Irish city (after Boston and Camden), according to Forbes.com. You can be sure Irish families in Philadelphia celebrate St. Patrick’s day in all kinds of ways: coloring milk green, baking Irish soda bread (and then smothering it in butter), wearing green t-shirts, or listening to Irish music. No matter what your heritage, here are four fun ways to celebrate the luck o’ the Irish in Philly.

  1. St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Commodore John Barry asked General George Washington for the parade in 1771, making it the second oldest and largest parade in the U.S. Set-up camp along Philly favorite spots like Kelly Drive and the Art Museum to watch the 150 participants, including marching bands, scouts, and dance groups. Parade starts at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard on Sunday, March 15, at 12:15 pm. Click here to see the route. “It’s a great family day for everyone,” says Michael Bradley, parade director. “It’s one of the first days kids can be outside.”
  2. Great Narberth Leprechaun Hunt. Kids of all ages love scavenger hunts. Take yours to this free family event in Narberth (about 20 minutes from Center City) where they hunt for 10 costumed leprechauns hiding in the town’s shops and gather chocolate gold coins along the way. Kids start with an empty “pot of gold” and game card detailing clues and a map to help them find the green fairies. The hunt starts at Forrest and Haverford Avenue, Saturday, March 14, from 1-4 pm (while surprises last). “It’s an afternoon of outdoor fun. Each kids goes away with some treats and a gold American $1 coin,” says Ed Ridgway, president of the Narberth Business Association. “Of course, many of the coins get spent by the kids right away, because Narberth is lucky enough to have a family-owned grocery store and a classic 5 & 10 across from the prize tent.” Find more details here.
  3. Leprechaun Run for Special Olympics. Maybe you’re returning to running and you’re looking for a fun 5-miler, or you want to get the whole family outside moving with a 2 mile fun run/walk. Check out the 30th annual Leprechaun Run supporting Special Olympics Philadelphia to kick-off the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Kids look forward to running the event every year, says Kristin Cuprzinski, special events and marketing manager for Special Olympics. Feel good knowing every dollar raised goes directly to Special Olympics in Philadelphia. The Saturday, March 14, 5-mile run starts at 9 am at the Art Museum and goes along Martin Luther King Boulevard. The 2-mile family-friendly fun run/walk starts after the 5-mile run; kids 8 and younger run free (but do not get a t-shirt). For more info, go to leprechaunrun.org.
  4. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éirann. The Delaware Valley’s chapter of the international group Comhaltas (the m is silent), dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional Irish music and dance, celebrates its first Sober St. Patrick’s Day in Philadelphia at the WHYY studios at Independence Mall West following the St. Patrick’s Day Parade from 4 to 7 pm. Kids can look forward to activities highlighting Irish culture like dancing to world-renowned accordion player John Whelan, learning about Gaelic words and instruments, and collecting stamps for prizes. Click here for more details.

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