St Patrick’s Day 2019: Best events in the UK to celebrate, from carnivals to pub crawls

Whip out your greenest glad rags and celebrate St Patrick's Day in style

Sabrina Barr
Sunday 17 March 2019 10:50
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Five things you didn't know about St Patrick's Day

On Sunday 17 March, thousands of people across the world will don garments of Irish green as they celebrate St Patrick's Day.

While the actual day only falls on one day, the festivities held in commemoration of the patron saint of Ireland can span weeks.

Events to commemorate St Patrick's Day have taken place in Ireland since the ninth and 10th centuries, while in Chicago, USA, its been tradition to dye the Chicago River green since 1962.

From whisky masterclasses to boozy, bottomless brunches, here are some of the best events taking place in celebration of St Patrick's Day across the UK:

Celebrate in style at a carnival

One of the highlights of the annual St Patrick's Day celebrations is the exuberant carnivals that take place across the world.

While New York City may be home to one of the oldest St Patrick's Day parades in the world, the UK also knows how to throw an unforgettable (or, in some cases, slightly forgettable) party.

This year's parade in the English capital is due to see thousands of party-goers meet at midday on Sunday 17 March as they make their way from Green Park to Trafalgar Square.

It's expected that more than 125,000 will attend the events being held as part of the London St Patrick's Day Festival, which will span three days from Friday 15 March until Sunday 17 March.

The festival will also feature an Irish Film Festival and an array of musical performances.

In addition to London, other locations hosting St Patrick's Day parade include Manchester and Birmingham.

Festivities for Manchester's St Patrick's Day celebrations are spanning across two weeks, starting on 1 March and ending on 17 March.

The main parade was held on Sunday 10 March, a week before St Patrick's Day, and saw thousands of people brave strong winds and hailstones to join in the fun.

Parades are also due to be held across Northern Ireland, in regions including Belfast, Londonderry, Cultra and Newry.

In Belfast, the carnival will begin at the Belfast City Hall at 12.30pm, and end at Writers Square on Donegall Street.

The festivities will also feature a free open-air concert after the parade, which is scheduled to take place from 1.30pm until 3pm in Custom House Square.

Become a whisky connoisseur with a masterclass

It's widely believed whisky has been distilled in Ireland and Northern Ireland since the 17th century, so what better way to celebrate Saint Patrick than by becoming a bona fide expert of the spirit?

On the Wednesday 13 March, The Gallery in West Hampstead, London will host a whisky tasting, providing a menu of four whiskies, four beers and four food pairings for the price of £30 per person.

If you're yearning to learn more, Soho wine and cocktail bar 68 and Boston is also holding an Irish whisky masterclass in celebration of St Patrick's Day on the Friday and Saturday before the big day.

For the price of £10 per person, the masterclass will include three 10ml tastings of three varieties of Teeling Whisky, in addition to a selection of Irish canapés.

Party into the early hours on a pub crawl

Nothing says St Patrick's Day quite like a full-blown, excessively green pub crawl.

You can expect to see bar crawls taking place in celebration of the joyful event across the UK, in cities including Sheffield, Liverpool and London.

The "North vs Midlands vs South St Patrick's Day bar crawl" in Sheffield, organised by student events company EatMyDisco, will see participants venture to bars including Molly Malone's Irish Tavern, Players Bar and Tiger Works.

In London, you can join in a bar crawl organised by Leicester Square bar Zoo Too that promises free shots, drinks deals throughout the night and free St Patrick's Day hats for the total price of £10 to £15.

The event will be taking place on Saturday 16 March and Sunday 17 March, and is expected to sell out in the lead-up to the big day.

The official St Patrick's Day music trail in Camden Market will see attendees watch six Irish music performances at bars across the market.

The free event is taking place on Saturday 16 March from 1.30pm until 6pm.

Have a few laughs at a comedy show

St Patrick's Day is an undoubtedly jubilant occasion, so marking the occasion by attending a comedy show is particularly apt.

On Saturday 17 March, The Comedy Store in Manchester will be hosting comedians Mick Ferry, John Lynn and Andrew Ryan for a night full of laughs and Guinness.

Starting at 8pm, standard tickets for the event cost £14, which includes a £2 booking fee.

London's Comedy Carnival is due to host an all-Irish lineup of top comedic acts for on St Patrick's Day, featuring comedians Jarlath Regan, Patrick Monahan, Micky Bartlett and Matthew McAloone.

The event is being held at Bar Rumba near Leicester Square on Sunday 17 March, from 7.30pm until 9.30pm. Ticket prices range from £16.68 to £38.16.

Enjoy a tipple at a bottomless brunch

If you thought the concept of bottomless brunch couldn't get any better, think again.

Brighton karaoke bar Lucky Voice is putting on - yes, you guessed it - karaoke bottomless brunch, so you can sing your heart out while enjoying a sip (or several) of your favourite tipple.

Taking place on Saturday 30 March, the bar will provide a complimentary bucket of beer while you sing along to Irish tunes for £35 per person.

A similar event will also be taking place at Little Nan's Bar, a cosy, homely bar situated in Deptford, southeast London.

For the price of £40 per person, you'll be given a three-hour slot during which you'll be treated to bottomless teapots of Bucks Fizz, Prosecco and an assortment of food.

The St Patrick's Day event is themed around pop music, which means you'll be able to enjoy classic pop tunes from Irish acts including Boyzone and Westlife throughout your stay.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

For everything you need to know about St Patrick's Day 2019, click here.

For five Guinness-based cocktail recipes that you can make at home in celebration of the big day, click here.

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