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St. Patrick's Day Boston
Photograph: Pixabay St. Patrick's Day Boston

The best St. Patrick’s Day 2020 events in Boston

Celebrate at an Irish pub or a party at the best St. Patrick’s Day 2020 events in Boston

By Time Out Boston Staff and Eric Grossman
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UPDATE: The St. Patrick’s Day parade has been cancelled due to the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus. Other events on this list may be affected—if you’re unsure, please call ahead to confirm.

St. Patrick’s Day in Boston is a celebration of the city’s proud Irish heritage. Stop by one of the best Irish bars in Boston any time of year and you can feel the Irish spirit. While the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is an undisputed highlight, Boston hosts a wealth of St. Patrick’s Day events, from festivals and races to concerts and cultural tours. There are even special restaurant menus around town that offer traditional Irish fare in honor of the day. Prep for the festivities (which involve much drinking of beer) at one of the best beer bars in Boston, and plan ahead for the next day with our guide to the best brunch spots in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

The best of the city under one roof

Harpoon Brewery tap takeover at TOM
Image: Courtesy Harpoon Brewery

St Patrick’s Day fun at Time Out Market

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

March 13-17 will feature a tap takeover with Harpoon Brewery. Beers on tap will include Rec League (Pale Ale), American IPA, Dragon Weiss (Sour), The Craic (Irish Red IPA), Don’t Poke The Bear (Golden Ale) and Nitro Boston Irish Stout.
March 13 (5-9pm) will also feature A Taste of Irish Spring with Glendalough Distillery. This free, 21+ event will include complimentary ‘Irish Spring’ cocktails while supplies last. Dedicated to sustainable sourcing, Glendalough is proud to partner with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy to promote local sustainability efforts in Boston. Revel in a live green wall and various botanicals and plush planters throughout the space and create your own Instagrammable moments.
Also on March 14, enjoy a free performance by the O'Shea Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance (6pm). 
Weekends also feature a make your own Bloody Mary Bar, letting you chose your spirit and customize to your heart's content. (Think miso maple syrup from Ms. Clucks Deluxe and donut holes from Union Square Donuts.)

Best St. Patrick’s Day events in Boston

St Patrick's Day Parade, South Boston
Photograph: Courtesy GBCVB

1. St Patrick’s Day Parade

Things to do

The annual parade offers the full spectrum of the Irish Boston experience. Massive crowds, day-drinking, and Irish-American history are on full display. The hills of Medal of Honor Park provide are an ideal vantage point to see the floats and witness the spectacle. It’s the perfect start to a day of bar-hopping and celebrating Irish heritage.
March 15, 1pm (Cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus.) 

Harpoon Brewery
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Michelle L.

2. Harpoon St. Patrick’s Festival

Bars Breweries Seaport District

Get ready for parade day with a few beers at one of Boston’s local faves. Harpoon Brewery’s festival gets the party started ahead of St. Patrick’s Day so you can prepare your beer drinking chops. Sample new brews and seasonal offerings while enjoying two full days of live music. Early access passes are available. Daily admission includes a beer and a souvenir cup. 
March 6-7

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Game On!
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Brian S.

3. Fenway Frolic at Game On!

Bars Sports Bars Fenway/Kenmore

Kick off the start of St. Paddy’s Day week with a festive scavenger hunt down Lansdowne Street. Teams of six or fewer will compete for prizes like Celtics tickets, Green Monster tickets, a Yeti cooler with Jameson swag, and more. The event is free. Find more info and RSVP here.
March 7, 12pm

The Smoke Shop
Photograph: Courtesy The Smoke Shop

4. Pot O’ Gold: A Redbreast Irish Whiskey Tasting & BBQ Dinner at The Smoke Shop

Restaurants Barbecue Kendall Sq

Celebrate the luck of the Irish with a Pot O' Gold: A Redbreast Irish Whiskey Tasting & BBQ Dinner at The Smoke Shop in Kendall Square. Redbreast Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador and whiskey educator Alex Thibault will guide guests through a tasting and describe the Single Pot Still method only used in Ireland, leading to a unique and distinctly Irish flavor. Chef/Owner Andy Husbands will serve up a Pitmaster Family-Style Dinner complete with brisket, ribs, pulled pork, hot links, and pork belly, along with sides including mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, collards, and more. Find more info and tickets here.
March 10, 6pm, $42.50pp

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Encore Boston Harbor
Photograph: Courtesy Encore Boston Harbor

5. St. Patrick’s Day Irish Whiskey Fair at Encore Boston Harbor

Things to do

Encore Boston Harbor’s beverage team will combine an extensive Irish whiskey tasting with unique hors d’oeuvres in this special St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Sample well-known whiskeys produced by Jameson, Bushmills, The Quiet Man and more, while enjoying bites from Waterfront. Tickets can be purchased by calling (857) 770-7070.
March 12, 7pm-9pm, $65pp

Dropkick Murphys St. Pats Tour
Photograph: Courtesy Dropkick Murphys

6. Dropkick Murphys Boston Blowout

The music of this Irish-tinged punk band has become synonymous with all things Boston, and their music has appeared in more Boston-set movies than we can count. They’ve earned a very loyal local following, and reward both die-hards and casual fans with multiple shows each year around St. Patrick’s Day. Catch them five nights at the House of Blues, Encore Boston Harbor, and Big Night Live.
March 13-17

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Dorchester Brewing Co.
Photograph: Courtesy Dorchester Brewing Co.

7. St. Patrick’s Day Throwdown at Dorchester Brewing Co.

Bars Breweries Dorchester

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a full weekend drinking great beer. Dorchester Brewing will have fresh beer, live music, Irish Step Dancers, traditional food and more. They'll also be tapping a fresh batch of our Savin Stout. M&M BBQ will be open daily and serving up their version of Irish food (along with their regular menu) including Corned beef served with potatoes & onions and fried cabbage.
March 14-15, 11:30am-9pm

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Christmas Celtic Sojourn
Photograph: Niko Alexandrou

9. St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn

WGBH’s Irish radio show introduces listeners to a wide of Irish music, from traditional folk music to fiddling and Irish-influenced traditions. The annual St. Patrick’s Day concert is a great way to celebrate the holiday. See talented Irish musicians plus athletic Irish step dancing. This year, six concerts will be held at five venues around the area.
March 11-15

St Patrick’s Day Road Race
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Colin Steele

10. St. Patrick’s Day Road Race

Earn your Guinness and corned beef with a brisk run the morning of St. Patrick’s Day. Held two hours before the start of the parade, the 5K road race attracts all levels of participants, even those who just want to break a little sweat in a green tutu. The race goes through South Boston and features live music. Best of all, race proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.
March 15, 11am

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The Beehive
Photograph: Courtesy The Beehive

13. St. Patrick’s at The Beehive

Bars Lounges South End

The Beehive is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Harpoon Brewery and Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Enjoy authentic Irish cuisine and live entertainment by Singer/Songwriter and Galway native Katie McD and her friends. The evening will feature Irish-inspired libations and Irish-American food specials in addition to the regular menu. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner service.
March 17, 5pm-midnight

Brendan Behan Pub
Photograph: Michael Ascanio Peguero

14. Brendan Behan Pub

Bars Jamaica Plain

Named for the famous Irish writer, this Jamaica Plain pub is dark, wood-paneled, and charming. You’ll hear a good number of Irish accents on a regular day, but especially on St. Patrick’s Day. With one of the city’s most perfectly-poured pints of Guinness, it’s a great spot to have a drink on St. Patrick’s Day - you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Dublin.

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JFK library
Photograph: Courtesy Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

15. Irish Heritage Trail

For a better understanding of Boston’s Irish Heritage, take this self-guided, three-mile walk through 20 historically significant sites around town. The tour highlights the contributions of local Irish-Americans both famous (JFK) and infamous (James Curley, Boston’s longtime mayor and the inspiration for The Last Hurrah). If you have time, you can also make a point to visit some or all of the 50 Irish landmarks scattered throughout the state; Boston’s visitor centers offer a handy map.

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