The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off from the corner of E. 18th and Superior Avenue at 2:04pm — an hour later than usual. Maybe that’s due to the people packing the churches earlier in the day to celebrate this year’s theme: “Irish Churches of the Diocese of Cleveland.”
The parade has marched in white-out blizzards; it has marched on days so warm that onlookers were sporting shorts and tank tops. It looks like this year will fall somewhere in between. And if the weather’s at all decent it feels like half of Cleveland turns out, sporting green clothing and trinkets.
There’ll be plenty of bars all over town opening at ridiculous hours. But if you’re downtown for the parade, which ends near Public Square, you might want to stop in at the House of Blues, where music starts at 9am with Pogues tribute band the Boys from the County Hell who have become a sort of local St. Patrick’s Day tradition themselves. There’ll be music in both the Music Hall and the Cambridge room until closing and it’s free all day.
If the drinking-to-excess that often accompanies this particular holiday is far from your agenda but you still like to celebrate, there’s the annual Sober Seventeenth Party, taking place at Ahern’s Banquet Center in Avon Lake from 5-8pm. The family-friendly party features Irish singer James Kilbane, Cleveland’s McNamaras playing traditional Irish tunes on flute, tin whistle and fiddle, bagpiper Reece Colovini, the Burke School of Irish Dance, faceprinting and a coloring contest for kids, and a belly-busting array on international foods from Swedish meatballs to Italian sausage to American hamburgers to the inevitable corned beef.
Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door; $6 for kids aged 10 & under.