St. Patrick’s Day in San Antonio always brings along a massive weekend-long celebration. According to History.com, “Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.”
Like the rest of the world, San Antonio knows how to party for St. Patty’s. From dyeing the San Antonio River green to attending festivals and music performances on the River Walk and, of course, indulging in some green beer, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy this Irish holiday in Central Texas. And as always, here at the San Antonio Daily Sun, we have the full scoop on the list of events starting the weekend before and during St. Patrick’s Day weekend from March 17-18.
34th Annual Harp & Shamrock Society 5K Run & Fitness Walk
Saturday, March 11 at 8:30am at Lady Bird Johnson Park
With a nickname like “Guinness Finish,” the 34th Annual Harp & Shamrock Society 5K Run & Fitness Walk is sure to be a race to enjoy. The race begins at 8:30am on Saturday, March 11 at Lady Bird Johnson Park (10700 Nacogdoches Rd) and is the longest running 5K run celebrating Irish heritage in San Antonio. In it’s 34th year, the race starts with the sound of bagpipes. Participants have the chance to win awards for the fastest run times, top masters, greenest runners and/or pets, ugliest kilts, and Irish Road Bowling. Once making it to the finish line, runners can expect a Beethoven Dance Band, Irish pasta, Irish bangers (sausage), Guinness mementos and you guessed it, a “Guinness Finish.”
Awards are handed out following the race at 10am, and proceeds from the event will benefit the Harp & Shamrock Society scholarship program, which has “bestowed more than $60,000 in academic and cultural scholarships to San Antonio students.”
Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day River Parade Festival
Friday & Saturday, March 17-18 from 12-9pm at La Villita- 418 Villita St.
Co-sponsored by Harp & Shamrock Society and Paseo del Rio Association, Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day River Parade Festival is packed full with food, drinks and entertainment. On Friday, March 17 the festival will run from 2-9pm, and on Saturday it will be open from 12-9pm.
One of the most anticipated events of the weekend is the Dyeing of the River Walk Green, where the San Antonio River is transformed into the River Shannon. This will take place at 1pm on Friday and 2pm on Saturday.
Later in the evening on Saturday, the Murphy’s River Parade will take place from 4-6pm. According to TheSanAntonioRiverWalk.com, the parade “occurs on 2-1/2 miles of the San Antonio River with 15 decorated barges filled with bagpipes and drummers, Irish step dancers, music, Kelly singers, former and current Irishmen of the Year, Alzafar Shrine Color Guard, Harp & Shamrock Society of Texas members and corporate sponsors. Parade route follows: Homewood Suites, Drury Plaza, Aztec Theatre, Hyatt Hotel, Rivercenter Mall, Convention Center, Arneson Theatre.”
St. Patrick’s Day Artisan Show
Friday, March 17 through Sunday, March 19 at the San Antonio Convention Center & the Shops at Rivercenter
As part of Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade River Festival, the River Walk will also be the location of the St. Patrick’s Day Artisan Show. Booths are located along the River Walk extension close to the Shops at Rivercenter, where participating artisans display and sell their unique handmade creations. Visitors can expect to see everything from jewelry, clothing, pottery, fine art, and much more.
The booths will be open from 11am– 11pm on Friday, 10am–11pm on Saturday, and 10am–8pm on Sunday.
Harp & Shamrock Music Festival
Friday & Saturday, March 17-18 at the Arneson River Theatre in La Villita
An additional part of Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day River Parade Festival, the Harp & Shamrock Music Festival will take place at the Arneson River Theatre from 12-9pm on Friday and Saturday. There will be a free non-stop schedule of Irish bands, singers and dancers for visitors entertainment.
Check out the following schedule for a list of performers:
Friday, March 17, 2017, Entertainment: Arneson River Theatre
3-4pm Kelly Singers
4-7pm Mike Ryan Coyotes & Fox Ache
7-9pm Celtic Comfort
Saturday, March 18, 2017, Entertainment: Arneson River Theatre
12-1pm Kelly Singers
2-3pm Tennessee Valley Authority/Fire On the Mountain
4-5pm Tennessee Valley Authority & Parade
5-6pm Inishfree Irish Dancers
6-9pm Rod and Tommy RTFM
For more information about any of the St. Patrick’s Day weekend events, feel free to visit Harp & Shamrock. The Harp & Shamrock Society of Texas is known for “keeping the Irish History and Culture alive in South Texas,” and since their founding in October 1966, the Society has worked to “involve persons of Irish nationality or heritage to do honor to the land of their forefathers.”
If you’re looking for other things to do in San Antonio during the month of March, be sure to check out Contemporary Art Month. And as March Madness gets closer and closer, you’ll want to know where all the Best Local Sports Bars in San Antonio are located as well.
As always, share all your St. Patrick’s Day pictures and videos with us on our San Antonio Daily Sun Facebook Page and use the hashtag “#SanAntonioDailySun”