St. Patrick’s Day falls on Friday, March 17th, but that isn’t stopping West Michigan businesses from celebrating both earlier in the month and throughout the holiday weekend. The festivities start early to get you in the mood for this Irish holiday, with parades, fun runs, Irish food, and more! You are sure to find even more throughout St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the peak of this festive holiday. There’s plenty of St. Patrick’s Day fun to go around, no matter your March schedule!
St. Patrick’s Day in West Michigan: North
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire with two traditional Irish weekend events: the Cardboard Classic and Blarney Stone Rail Jam. On Saturday, March 11th, visitors are invited to participate in the annual race down Schuss Mountain in a sled you make yourself from cardboard, tape, and glue only! Cardboard Classic prizes are awarded for best design, best use of the Shanty Creek logo, and fastest sled. Later the same day, Shanty Creek welcomes the Blarney Stone Rail Jam for both skiers and snowboarders. Prizes are awarded to all participants.
Every spring at Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, celebrate the new season with a party that brings together the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day and the zaniness of Mardi Gras, which they affectionately call Carnival Weekend, from March 17th to 19th. Whatever you want to call it, just know that this weekend brings the silliness out of us all. Whether you are skimming the pond in their annual Slush Cup or getting jiggy with it during the On-hill Party, you are bound to laugh at yourself and your friends. Carnival Weekend isn’t recommended for kids, just for the adults that want to act like kids again!
Grab a proper pint and celebrate St. Patty’s Day waterfront style at Portage Pointe Inn in Onekama on March 17th. Traditional Irish menu, cash bar, Pot of Gold scavenger hunt, Irish jig dance off, Leprechaun Limbo, and more await you at this festive party! Special event lodging packages include two free drink tickets per person and 25% off all gift shop merchandise, so you know that you’ll be celebrating in style!
Cheers to a fun-filled St. Patrick’s weekend at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, with plenty of activities for everyone, including their epic Kayak on the Snow Race. Enjoy green beer, BBQ, and more on the slopes of Crystal Mountain on March 17th and 18th. As promised, the Kayak on the Snow Race is sure to be a great time with racers hitting the slopes in provided kayaks. Come watch or join the fun!
Are you feeling the luck of the Irish? Can you find the pot of gold? Join the Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire on Saturday, March 11th at 1pm to try your luck at geocaching and finding riches. Learn how to orient using a GPS, map, and compass while you test your skills with this outdoor scavenger hunt! This is an hour and a half program and costs $5 per person.
The Ludington Area is going to be full of green this coming St. Patrick’s Day weekend, with events, shopping, dining, and more! The festivities kick off with the Irish Jig Run on Saturday, March 18th at 9am. The 1 mile fun run and 5K/10K takes you throughout the Ludington area. After the racers have cleared the streets, the St. Patrick’s Parade takes over starting at noon. Enter a float, a group of Irishmen, pets dressed in holiday attire, musical groups, or any creative entry you can imagine. There is also shopping and dining specials downtown in celebration of the holiday.
You won’t need the luck of the Irish to run for the gold at the National Cherry Festival’s 7th Annual Fifth Third Bank Leapin’ Leprechaun St. Patty’s Day 5K foot race! Take to the streets of Traverse City on Saturday, March 11th at 9am and put on your best green outfit as you make your way across the finish line. After your run, stay for the Post Race Party and St. Patrick’s Day Parade!
St. Patrick’s Day fun takes over Traverse City’s many breweries, bars, and pubs with the Traverse City Pub Walk on Friday, March 17th. The 11 hour, Irish-inflected tour of the city’s best watering holes is from noon to 11pm. Swing by for a few stops or adventure all day with this jam-packed afternoon, evening, and night!
St. Patrick’s Day in West Michigan: Central
The Grand Rapids Symphony will fill the air with beautiful Irish music from March 17th to 19th. Irish eyes always smile when Cathie Ryan (formerly of Celtic favorite Cherish the Ladies) sings Celtic classics. Celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green in this concert of favorite from the Emerald Isle, including “Danny Boy” and more!
The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids is hosting two St. Patrick’s themed classes. The Green Kids with St. Patrick class is March 17th and teaches kids how to celebrate the day by making green shamrock smoothies, green mac and cheese, mini shepherd’s pies, and green cake crinkle cookies. The Winter Irish Cooking class on the same day gives you and your friends a chance to feast on a traditional Irish winter meal. Dine on colcannon dip, Irish soda bread, and a Guinness lamb stew to keep you from getting cabin fever.
There are several Irish-themed events in Muskegon throughout St. Patrick’s Day week. Kicking off the celebration is live Celtic music from Uneven Ground on Tuesday, March 14th. Listen to the four-piece traditional Celtic band that blends vocals with instrumentals to bring their listeners on a unique musical journey with Celtic, Irish, English, and Scottish music. The weekend also brings the St. Patrick’s Party presented by the Michigan Irish Music Festival on Friday, March 17th and Saturday, March 18th. The two-day event features live music from Tallymore, as well as Irish Dance, McGovern’s Corned Beef, Irish Whiskey, and beer and beverages. Later this year, the Michigan Irish Music Festival returns to Muskegon from September 14th to 17th to continue their ongoing promotion of Irish culture and heritage. The Annual Muskegon St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off on Saturday, March 18th with organizations, businesses, marching bands, and more making their way through downtown Muskegon. After a long weekend of celebrating, visit the public library on Tuesday, March 20th to hear Mike Johnson, a professor from Muskegon Community College, discuss the Book of Kells. He plans on discussing the history of the manuscript, the decorative elements, and how cultures and spiritual beliefs fuse in art.
St. Patrick’s Day in West Michigan: South
Head to the country on St. Patrick’s Day weekend to acclaimed farm-to-fork restaurant Salt of the Earth in Fennville! In addition to his regular mouth watering menu comprised of local ingredients, Chef Matthew Pietsch is featuring his renowned Corned Pork recipe specially for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It’s all capped off with a performance by the Canadian Celtic group ‘The Steel City Rovers’ on Sunday, March 17th.
Start your day and fill your bellies with an Epic Breakfast from 9am to 11am at Arcadia Brewing Company in Kalamazoo on March 17th. Featuring house-made corned beef hash and the release of Brigid’s Irish Red, you won’t want to miss this. The story of Brigid (pronounced “Breed”) is one shrouded in mystery, and is equal parts pagan history and Catholic sainthood. Brewed with molasses for a hint of jammy dark fruit, low-medium hints of earthy hops come through, and creamy malt provides a calming backbone. A modest alcohol content keeps everything convivial, as there’s plenty to toast come early spring. After you’ve had your fill, finish out the day doing a jig to the live music of Belfast Gin from 9pm to 12am!
Bell’s Brewing Company in Kalamazoo is teaming up with Gazelle Sports to host their 5th Annual St. Patty’s Day Pub Run. The run is March 15th at Bell’s Eccentric Café, and all proceeds from this event benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and A Community of Caring. Make sure to stop back at the brewery afterwards for some post-run beers!
The WBCH St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Hastings is known as the “Biggest Little Parade” in West Michigan. The Parade kicks off at 4pm on Friday, March 17th. If you want to participate, call WBCH or simply join the line-up behind the radio station. Whether a spectator or a participant, you’re sure to enjoy this family-friendly event. After the event, enjoy shopping and dining at the unique stores and restaurants that line the parade route.
Spend St. Patrick’s Day with music in the Battle Creek Area. The renowned Brass Band of Battle Creek is holding their fundraising gala and CD release party on Friday, March 17th at 6pm. Meanwhile, FireKeeper’s Casino is having a concert with Jens Lindemann and Friends. The star-studded red carpet entrance with cocktail reception features a gourmet plated dinner at 6:30pm and concert begins at 7pm.
St. Patrick’s Day in West Michigan: Nearby
The annual St. Patrick’s parade takes to the streets of Michigan City, Indiana, at 1pm on March 11th. Watch as the parade steps off from 10th Street, marching north on Franklin Street, and ending at 4th Street. The wonderful sounds of the groups of bagpipe players as they make their way through downtown is sure to put you in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day.