Kiss Me, I'm Cleveland-ish
A Guide to St. Patrick's Day in Cleveland
By Adam Sockel, Image by Cody York
On Saturday, March 17, Downtown Cleveland will host a cozy gathering of around half a million people. Most of those in attendance will be decked out in green, celebrating one of Spring's first great events—St. Patrick's Day. Cleveland has plenty of practice playing host to this revelry, as 2018 marks the 151st version of the city's St. Patrick's Day parade.
Cleveland's St. Paddy's Day party is among the biggest in the country. And, this year's numbers are expected to dramatically swell, as the holiday falls on a weekend and the city is hosting the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
If Ye Be Drinking, Ye Shall Not Drive
The first thing to concern yourself with is getting Downtown and around town. Don't bother driving, because after a few green beers, you won't want to be getting behind the wheel. Plus, you'll have one less thing to worry about when you're recovering the next morning.
- RTA: Purchase a $5 day pass to use on the trains and buses
- Ride Share: For around $20 from surrounding suburbs, take a Lyft or Uber
Have a Pint or Two...or Three
Choosing a place to party is always important. And, even though all our watering holes are "Irish" on St. Paddy's Day, there's nothing as legit as experiencing the holiday at a traditional Irish pub.
- Parnell's Pub at Playhouse Square in Downtown opens early and stays open late
- Flannery's Pub on East 4th Street is a Downtown go-to
- Barley House in Downtown's Warehouse District is always an epic party spot
- The Flat Iron Cafe in the Flats is the perfect old-standby
- Stone Mad in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood offers bocce courts and beautiful fire pits
- The Harp in Hingetown will have Irish bands all day
- The Old Angle Tavern on West 25th Street in Ohio City will be rocking
- Muldoon's Saloon and Eatery is an Irish mainstay along Cleveland's East 185th Street
It's Magically Delicious
There's no shortage of restaurants where you can get traditional (and award-winning) corned beef sandwiches all around Cleveland. But you can't go wrong with these Downtown-area institutions:
- Slyman's on St. Clair Avenue
- Danny's Deli on St. Clair Avenue
- Corky & Lenny's inside the JACK Casino on Public Square
- For Goodness Jake's on Public Square
- Flannery's Pub on East 4th Street
If you're planning on watching Ohio’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, your best bet is to be on Superior Avenue between East 9th Street and 12th Street for the best sight lines. There you’ll see bagpipers, Irish dancers, wolf hounds and more kilts than you can count on two hands. The parade is a great family activity and a unique experience. If you prefer to do your Irish jigging with a pint, though, head to any of the aforementioned bars, many of whom will have live music all day.
Stepdance to Kamm's Corners
While the parade, as well as other aspects of the festivities occur in Downtown Cleveland, the Irish dancers jig all night in the west side neighborhood of Kamm's Corners. So, after the parade, taxi on over to where the bagpipers and corned beef sandwiches are the stuff of legends at places like: PJ McIntyre's, Public House, West Park Station and more.
Other happening 'hoods? Try Lakewood, Ohio City, Tremont and Detroit Shoreway.
What to Wear
Cleveland weather in March is prone to unpredictability—so check your weather app ahead of time to know what to wear. Layering your (green) clothes is never a bad idea.
After all, we might not all be Irish. But, when you're here, you'll always be 100% Cleveland-ish. Sláinte!