Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration In Kentucky 2024 ☘️

Saint Patrick’s Day, a vibrant and spirited celebration of Irish culture, is just around the corner. In the heart of Kentucky, where rolling hills meet the bluegrass, locals and visitors alike come together to honor this beloved holiday.

Let’s embark on a journey through the emerald landscapes of Kentucky, where shamrocks dance in the breeze and laughter echoes across the hills.

Table of Events and Parades

Louisville St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMarch 9, 20243:00 p.m.The Highlands (Broadway and Baxter Ave. to Bardstown Rd. and Windsor Pl.)
Lexington Blessing of the KegMarch 16, 202410:45 a.m.Henry A. Tandy Centennial Plaza (251 W. Main St.)

Event Details

Louisville’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The Louisville St. Patrick’s Day Parade, steeped in tradition and community spirit, brings the streets of the Highlands alive with vibrant colors and infectious energy. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. 50 Years of Tradition: Last year marked the parade’s 50th anniversary, a testament to the enduring love for this festive event. Families, friends, and visitors gather along the route, creating a lively atmosphere.
  2. The Irish Triangle: As the parade winds through the heart of Louisville, it passes through what locals affectionately call “The Irish Triangle.” Here, iconic Irish pubs line the streets, including:
    • O’Shea’s Irish Pub: Known for its cozy ambiance and hearty Irish fare, O’Shea’s is a favorite gathering spot during the parade. Try their shepherd’s pie or fish and chips.
    • Molly Malone’s Irish Pub: Molly Malone’s offers a warm welcome and live music. Grab a pint of Guinness and join the revelry.
    • Flanagan’s Ale House: Flanagan’s boasts an extensive whiskey selection and a lively crowd. It’s the perfect place to toast to Saint Patrick.
  3. Community Camaraderie: Whether you’re donning green attire, waving Irish flags, or simply enjoying the camaraderie, the Louisville St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates Irish heritage and the spirit of togetherness.

Lexington’s Blessing of the Keg

In Lexington, the celebration takes a different form, but the enthusiasm remains unwavering:

  1. Tradition and Merriment: The day begins with the “Blessing of the Keg” at the Henry A. Tandy Centennial Plaza. This delightful tradition sets the tone for a day filled with laughter, music, and good cheer.
  2. Entertainment: Regional bands take the stage, filling the air with lively tunes. Local Irish dancers showcase their talent, twirling in colorful costumes. The plaza buzzes with excitement as vendors offer their wares.
  3. Immerse in Irish Culture: Take a moment to appreciate the rich tapestry of Irish culture. Sample traditional Irish soda bread, admire Celtic art, and perhaps even learn a jig or two.

Specific Places to Visit

Beyond the parades, explore these enchanting spots:

  1. The Irish Triangle (Louisville): Wander the streets where the parade passes. Explore historic buildings, murals, and charming boutiques. Don’t miss the chance to step inside the pubs that define this area.
  2. Keeneland Race Course (Lexington): If you’re in Lexington, Keeneland is a must-visit. Even if you’re not a horse racing enthusiast, the picturesque grounds and elegant architecture are worth experiencing.

Routes to Take

Louisville Parade Route

As you prepare to join the Louisville St. Patrick’s Day Parade, consider the scenic routes to take before and after the festivities:

  1. Highlands Drive: Begin your journey by driving through the Highlands neighborhood. The tree-lined streets are adorned with charming Victorian homes, colorful murals, and local boutiques. Keep an eye out for the iconic “Keep Louisville Weird” sign—it’s a favorite photo spot.
  2. River Road: After the parade, follow River Road along the Ohio River. The views are breathtaking, especially during sunset. You’ll pass by Waterfront Park, where you can stretch your legs and enjoy the riverside ambiance.

Lexington Exploration

  1. Horse Country: Lexington is synonymous with thoroughbred horses. Take a scenic drive through Horse Country, where rolling pastures are dotted with elegant horse farms. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures grazing.
  2. Old Frankfort Pike: This historic road winds through the heart of bluegrass country. The drive is postcard-worthy, with white fences, grazing horses, and charming stone walls. Stop at Wallace Station Deli for a classic Kentucky hot brown sandwich.

Restaurants and Pubs

Louisville Eateries

  1. O’Shea’s Irish Pub: Extend the celebration by dining at O’Shea’s. Try their hearty Irish stew or indulge in a plate of bangers and mash. Pair it with a pint of Harp Lager or a creamy Irish coffee.
  2. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub: Molly Malone’s offers a cozy atmosphere and a menu filled with Irish favorites. Don’t miss their corned beef and cabbage—it’s a Saint Patrick’s Day essential.

Lexington Pubs

  1. McCarthy’s Irish Bar: Located in downtown Lexington, McCarthy’s exudes Irish charm. Sip on a perfectly poured Guinness while listening to live music. Their shepherd’s pie is a crowd-pleaser.
  2. Pazzo’s Pizza Pub: For a casual vibe, head to Pazzo’s. Their pizza is legendary, and they have an impressive selection of craft beers. Try the “Luck of the Irish” pizza topped with corned beef and sauerkraut.
Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration in Kentucky 2024


Louisville and Lexington Vibes

  1. Live Music: Both cities come alive with music during Saint Patrick’s Day. Check local listings for live performances at pubs, parks, and community centers. Irish folk tunes, fiddles, and bagpipes will set the mood.
  2. Dance and Ceilidhs: Join an impromptu ceilidh (traditional Irish dance gathering) or take part in a jig. Even if you’re not an expert, the joy is in the movement.

Tips for Celebrating

  1. Arrive Early: Secure a good spot along the parade route by arriving early. Bring foldable chairs or blankets for comfort.
  2. Wear Green: It’s the color of the day! Whether it’s a subtle accessory or head-to-toe green, embrace the festive spirit.
  3. Stay Hydrated: The excitement can be contagious, but don’t forget to stay hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle.
  4. Plan Your Transportation: Consider using rideshares or public transportation to avoid parking hassles.

Best Things to Do

As you immerse yourself in the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities, consider these delightful activities:

  1. Explore Irish Heritage: Visit local museums or cultural centers that celebrate Irish history and traditions. Learn about Irish immigration to Kentucky and the impact of Irish culture on the state.
  2. Attend a Ceilidh Dance: Join a ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”) dance event. These lively gatherings involve traditional Irish folk dances, and everyone is welcome to participate. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert—the joy is in the movement and laughter.
  3. Capture Memories: Bring your camera or smartphone to capture candid moments. Whether it’s a child’s delighted expression during the parade or a group of friends raising their glasses, these memories will last a lifetime.

Food to Eat

  1. Corned Beef and Cabbage: A classic Saint Patrick’s Day dish, corned beef and cabbage are hearty and flavorful. The tender beef, paired with boiled cabbage, potatoes, and carrots, warms both body and soul.
  2. Irish Soda Bread: Seek out a bakery that offers freshly baked Irish soda bread. Its dense texture and slightly sweet flavor make it a delightful accompaniment to any meal.
  3. Shepherd’s Pie: Layers of seasoned ground meat (traditionally lamb), vegetables, and creamy mashed potatoes create this comforting dish. It’s like a warm hug on a plate.


  1. Guinness Stout: Raise a pint of Guinness, Ireland’s iconic dark beer. Its rich, roasted flavor pairs perfectly with the festive atmosphere.
  2. Irish Coffee: For a cozy treat, indulge in Irish coffee. Hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and a dollop of whipped cream create a delightful blend of warmth and spirit.

Other Details

  1. Parking and Transportation: Plan your transportation in advance. Consider using rideshares or public transit to avoid parking challenges.
  2. Family-Friendly Activities: If you’re attending with family, look for kid-friendly events. Some parades have designated family zones with entertainment and activities for children.
  3. Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable shoes for walking and layers to adapt to changing weather. Don’t forget to wear your green!


As the bagpipes play and the streets come alive, let the spirit of Saint Patrick envelop you. Whether you’re dancing a jig, savoring Irish cuisine, or simply enjoying the company of fellow revelers, this celebration transcends borders and brings us all together. Sláinte to a memorable Saint Patrick’s Day in Kentucky!


Can I bring my pet to the parade?

 While some parades allow well-behaved pets on leashes, it’s best to check the specific event guidelines. Keep in mind that large crowds and loud noises may be overwhelming for pets.

Are there any age restrictions for attending the festivities?

 Most events are family-friendly, but it’s wise to check if any specific age restrictions apply. Some pubs may have age limits during certain hours.

What’s the best way to learn an Irish dance?

 Look for local dance studios or community centers that offer Irish dance classes. Many welcome beginners and provide a fun, supportive environment.