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The Emerald Society playing in the 2018 Denver St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo courtesy of Deborah Grigsby

6 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Denver

American St. Patrick's Day celebrations are as old as the country itself. See where the action is happening throughout Denver on this St. Paddy's Day.

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Have a Pint at Denver’s Longest-Running Irish Pub

When: Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17
Where: Nallen’s Irish Pub, 1429 Market St.

It’s an all-day, all-night St. Paddy’s Day party at Nallen’s which is Denver’s oldest-running Irish pub (Clancy’s Irish Pub opened in 1973, but moved to Wheat Ridge in the early 2000s). Opened in 1992 by John and Una Nallen, who immigrated from County Mayo, Ireland in 1972, the LoDo bar hosts an epic party every St. Patrick’s Day. Starting at 8 a.m. and running until 2 a.m. both days, you can join in the festivities with throngs of dancers and bagpipe performers, corned beef sandwiches, and their usual rotation of Guinness and Smithwick’s stouts and ales.

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Shave Your Head for Cancer (Yes, This Is St. Patrick’s Day Related)

When: Friday, March 15, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Coors Field, East Parking Lot, 2001 Blake St.

The local rendition of St. Baldrick’s—a philanthropic head-shaving party that first started at Jim Brady’s pub in Manhattan—has evolved from raising $17,000 in 2004 to more than $400,000 in recent years. Each person or team signed up to shave pledges to raise and donate a certain dollar amount, which goes towards benefitting childhood cancer research. The 17th Annual Fado St. Baldrick’s Denver expects to be bigger than ever—they even had to move their venue to a parking lot at Coors Field (don’t worry, it’s in close proximity to the Blake Street Tavern) to accommodate the increase in annual attendees. Whether you shave, volunteer, or donate, this community event is not to be missed.

Experience the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: Saturday, March 16, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Downtown Denver, 18th Ave. and Wynkoop St.

What started as a small gathering on bar stools in the ’60s has morphed into a city-wide celebration of Irish culture, with more than 450,000 annual spectators. With thousands of marchers, the parade boasts performance from the Wick School of Irish Dance and the Michael Collins Pipes & Drums. This year’s Parade Grand Marshall is James Iacino, chief executive officer of Seattle Fish Company, who will be walking in the parade with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Do yourself a favor and make parking plans ahead of time or take public transport downtown. We recommend the Coors Field Garage, which will be open from 7 to 9 a.m. and is free for the day; or for peace of mind, purchase passes in advance for guaranteed spots close to the event with Parking PandaFree.

Lace up for a Local Run

Saint Patrick’s Brew Run at Blind Faith Brewing

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For fans of running and Irish libations, join the Saint Patrick’s Brew Run at Blind Faith Brewing, where walkers and runners take over a scenic trail along the South Platte River—a 5K course starting and ending at the local brewery. Enjoy the untimed social run, or, for the more hardcore athletes, get in an extra workout by carrying a keg throughout the 5K (in teams of two), or two full growlers—if you finish under a time limit (without spilling) you’ll win growler-sized brews of your choice. This year’s brew run is partnering with Epic Experience, a nonprofit that organizes outdoor adventures for individuals with cancer. Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m. at Blind Faith Brewing, 2842 Bowles Ave., Littleton; $35

Runnin’ of the Green

This 7K Irish jog has been running for three decades now, benefitting different charities—this year, it’s Volunteers for America. This is a timed race, but everyone’s welcome to run at their own speed. It’s family- and stroller-friendly, so bring along the wee ones too. After the run, stay for the afterparty with entertainment from Reed Irish Dancers and the Colorado Youth Pipe Band, and snack on corned beef and bagels from Shamrock Foods.  Sunday, March 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 17th Ave. and Wazee St.; $30–$45

Celebrate at a Sober Tailgate at the Avalanche vs. Devils Game

When: Sunday, March 17, noon to 3 p.m.
Where: Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Circle

Just because you don’t drink doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time on St. Patrick’s Day. Join S.AF.E, Sober AF Entertainment, for an alcohol- and drug-free tailgating party before the Colorado Avalanche game. The S.AF.E nonprofit aims to create safe spaces in fun places, like concerts and sporting events, for sober people—whatever their reason. The discounted tickets include entry to the the pre-game tailgate with cornhole, a Nintendo Wii dance-off, and snacks from noon to 1 p.m., and a seat to the game in S.AF.E’s sober section. $28

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Experience Hurling (No, Not That Kind)

When: March 23 and March 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Ralston Park, 5850 Garrison St., Arvada; Stenger Soccer Complex, 11200 W. 58th Ave., Arvada

Meet the Denver Gaels—a local league that’s playing the traditional Irish sports of hurling and camogie (played with a wooden stick and ball, sharing similarities with field hockey), and Gaelic Football (a hands-on cross between basketball, rugby, and soccer). Join one of the four pub-sponsored teams at a newcomer training session and see what the fun is all about, or wait and watch the kick-off game on April 22. Free to join; equipment provided

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