Whether you’re celebrating your heritage, just hopped off a plane from the Emerald Isle or just really, really, really love beer, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the U.S., and in Boulder, it’s no different.
With something to offer leprechauns of all ages, you’re sure to be satisfied with Boulder’s St. Paddy’s day festivities.
We’ve broken down Boulder’s celebrations into adult-only and kid-friendly events. Here are the best ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Boulder.
More InfoKegs & Cabbage at the Boulder Theater
Sponsored by Jameson and Boulder Beer Company, this event offers all the makings of a truly memorable St. Paddy’s Day. Doors open at 5 p.m., and by 6, the festivities will begin. Irish food and drink specials, live music, free entrance and restrictions on admission (21 and up only) give this event an edge over the competition. Not to mention corned beef and cabbage. Yum.
Bootstrap Brewing is a 21-and-older venue that welcomes well-behaved, leashed dogs to hang out with their owners on the outdoor patio. The brewery often has special events and activities, including a St. Paddy’s day celebration. This year, they welcome Ravin’ Wolf (6-9 p.m.), which Bootstrap calls “an acoustic mountain sagebrush blues band” to their St. Paddy’s day party. Acoustic sagebrush blues? And beer? Count us in.
Founded in Boulder in 2008, Upslope has become a local favorite for both a casual drink and its special events. For this St. Paddy’s Day special, Upslope will host Stomp Street Heist, a local Boulder bluegrass band, which will perform 5-7 p.m. You can’t go wrong with a mix of bluegrass and beer.
What’s a St. Patrick’s Day celebration without a traditional Irish Pub? Conor O’Neill’s can provide the food, drink, and entertainment that every good celebration needs. The night features Mumbouli, a local, Irish, rock-and-roll, bluegrass band. The band plays at 10 p.m., which makes Conor O’Neill’s the best place to end your evening. And let’s face it: with so much food, drink and musical entertainment, you’re sure to be full to the brim.
Two bagpipe performances by The Northern Colorado Caledonia Pipe Band (5-7pm), a variety of Irish food options, and of course as much Guiness as you can drink make Mike O’Shay’s a great option if you find yourself in Northern Boulder County. Right off of Main St, Mike O’Shay’s has been named Overall Best Restaurant in Longmont for 11 years in a row. And their Irish celebration is no different. You definitely don’t want to miss this!
Looking for something a bit more friendly for your wee little ones? Don’t fret. There are plenty of family-friendly St. Paddy’s Day events in and around Boulder.
The Exchange Tavern
Just a short drive southeast of Boulder, The Exchange Tavern will be serving breakfast until 11 a.m. and then moving right into its St. Paddy’s day celebratory lineup, including the Heritage Irish Step Dancers and the Queen City Pipe Band. Your little ones will be entertained and enchanted by the music and dance at The Exchange Tavern. After 2 p.m., the party ramps up and is limited to 21 and older, so be sure to get there early to enjoy the kid-friendly activities.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
For the past 54 years, Denver has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a parade straight through downtown. Taking place on March 11, the parade features dancers, bagpipers, floats and of course, Queen Colleen and her court, to celebrate Irish Heritage and traditions. The family-friendly event begins at 9:30 a.m.
The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Each year in front of Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub, Boulder celebrates the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which travels a grand total of two blocks and lasts less than 30 minutes. But don’t be fooled by its size. In the past, this short, little parade has included dancers, bands, vehicles, celebrity guests, impersonators and more. Catch the parade this year on March 12th at noon, followed by Irish dancers and live acoustic music at Conor O’Neill’s.
Longmont Museum and Cultural Center
Irish dancing, traditional music performed by Beth Gadbaw and Irish-inspired food and drink all give this event a family-friendly, well-rounded vibe. Taking place from 6-9:30 p.m. in Longmont, a short drive from Boulder in the northeastern part of Boulder County, this event ends early enough to give parents the flexibility to entertain their little ones and still have time afterward to visit an adult-themed celebration. Win-win.
Local tip: Don’t forget that alcohol affects people differently at altitude. Enjoy your evening, but pace yourself. You wouldn’t want to ruin your visit to Boulder with a wicked hangover. Eat food, drink beer, enjoy music and may the luck of the Irish be with you.