Celebrating St. Patrick's Day Knoxville Style
Get those four-leaf clovers and pints ready -- everyone’s favorite Irish holiday is coming up. Every March 17th, the luck of the Irish is celebrated here and far. St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, pays homage to the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. If you’re Irish, or are just a fan of celebrations, we’ve got you covered. From the history of this holiday to all the best places and ways to celebrate in Knoxville, keep reading to see how to bring some of that Irish luck to your day.
Saint Patrick’s Day was initially meant to commemorate the day Christianity was brought to Ireland; it is now a day meant to celebrate Irish culture as a whole. Several centuries later, the holiday is celebrated internationally with parades, parties and festivals springing up in the United States, Canada and even Brazil.
Not many know this, but Knoxville has deep ties to the Irish heritage. According to the Knox St. Patrick’s Parade website, many founders and early leaders of Knoxville were of Irish descent. After the Great Famine in the 1840s forced many Irish families to immigrate to the United States, the Irish population in town only grew; the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Knoxville was in the 1850’s. This tradition has remained alive and well in the streets of our town.
It’s all about family and heritage on this day and what better way to celebrate than by celebrating with the entire town. Put on your favorite green top, come out into the streets, and do the Irish proud.
- Knox Shamrock Fest - March 15 and 16
This celebration is presented by Fresenius Kidney Care. Across the two days, there will be Irish and Celtic-roots music, performances, Irish food and drink and even a 6K run/walk. For the beer lovers, check out the Old City Pub Crawl at this festival for a good ol’ fashioned Irish buzz. All the proceeds for this event benefit the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation for the treatment of kidney disease.
- Knox St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Cel-O’Bragh-Tion - March 15 and 16
Held Krutch Park off Gay Street, this is another two-day celebration for the family. The 15th be the pre-party to the parade. It will feature food, games, music and an inflatable pub! The parade will be held the following day on the 16th. Starting at 1 p.m., visitors can line up on Howard Baker Jr. Blvd., Gay Street, or Jackson Ave to catch a glimpse of the floats, musicians, and performers.
If there’s one thing we know about St. Patrick’s Day, it’s that it wouldn’t be done right without a brewski. This part is for the Over 21 Club: we’re giving you the best places to celebrate this holiday. Pull out that green bowtie, gather your friends, and have a St. Patty’s night to remember.
- Boyd’s Jig & Reel
A tried-and-true favorite of the locals, there’s no better place to celebrate the Irish than at this place. On March 17th, they will be opening at 2 p.m. to get the Irish jig started early. Check this place out for a nice pint and a basket of fish and chips. Celtic Band Liam’s Fancy will be performing to get the celebration going. (Psst! Boyd’s Jig & Reel is open for all ages till 9 p.m. this day; after that, only those 21 and up can get their Irish riverdance on.)
- Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House
The premiere Irish pub in Knoxville, you and your group have to check this place out. Not only do they have great beers on tap, their selection of Irish whiskey will make you think you’re in Ireland. They even have classic Irish recipes like sheppard’s pie and corned beef and cabbage to really bring the holiday home. They haven’t listed an official event for March 17th, but with Irish vibes like that, they don’t really need one.
- Finn’s Restaurant & Tavern
This place has a weekend-long celebration for St. Patrick’s Day. Stop by Saturday March 16th or Sunday March 17th for some beer, whiskey, and a little Irish jig. The Boogie Nights are set to perform this weekend. If that’s not enough, the tavern is having their annual Tug-O-War between the Knoxville Fire Department and the Knoxville Fraternal Order of Police. Some Irish food, whiskey, and a little competition? What could be more Ireland?
Whether you’re lining the streets with family or enjoying the night with friends, there is a St. Patrick’s Day celebration for everyone. No matter your celebration, remember to drink and act responsibly. Participate in a jig, down a pint, and do the Irish proud.