Get your green on: Where to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in metro Detroit

By: Jennifer Sigouin | Online Only | Published March 10, 2016

 A sea of runners takes off from the starting line during the third annual Lucky Leprechaun Race in downtown Utica March 7, 2013. The event will take place March 12 this year.

A sea of runners takes off from the starting line during the third annual Lucky Leprechaun Race in downtown Utica March 7, 2013. The event will take place March 12 this year.

Photo provided by Tom Gray


St. Patrick’s Day is on Thursday, March 17, and no matter what your background may be, it’s still fun to put on your green and be Irish — at least in spirit — for the day.

Festivities around metro Detroit begin this weekend. Here are some of the ways you can celebrate:

• Oakland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 12, Royal Oak

The 2016 Oakland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 12, along Washington Avenue in downtown Royal Oak. Spectators can grab a spot along the parade route anytime after 9 a.m. that morning.

The Lucky Dash 5K will be held at 10 a.m. prior to the parade. The public is also invited to a St. Patrick’s Day party following the parade at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, located at 401 E. Fourth St. The event will include live music, Irish dancers, dinner and beverages.

Related story: St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches through downtown RO this weekend

• Lucky Leprechaun Race
Saturday, March 12, Utica

Utica’s fourth annual Lucky Leprechaun Race kicks off in front of Shamrock Irish Pub the morning of March 12. Runners can get into the Irish spirit with bagpipes and a DJ beginning at 9:15 a.m. The 5K run and “green mile” fun run will take place at 10:30 a.m., followed by the 5K walk and “green mile” walk at 10:33 a.m.

Related story: Utica’s fourth annual Lucky Leprechaun Race will take place March 12

• Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade
Sunday, March 13, Detroit

Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, Corktown, is home to the city’s biggest Irish celebration. The annual St. Patrick’s Parade is sponsored by the United Irish Societies and includes marching bands, pipe and drum bands, color guard units, floats, marching units and more. The parade begins at noon and travels west on Michigan Avenue, from 6th Street to 14th Street. The annual Corktown Races, held prior to the parade, are also a big draw. The parade and races draw thousands of participants and spectators each year, so be sure to arrive early to find a viewing spot.

• Detroit Symphony Orchestra St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
March 11-13, Orchestra Hall, Detroit

Irish-American singer/songwriter and Detroit native Cathie Ryan and her band will perform Celtic classics with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during four weekend performances at Orchestra Hall. Shows are at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11; 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 12;  and 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Orchestra Hall is located at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Avenue, in Detroit. Visit for ticket information.

• Downtown Utica festivities
Thursday, March 17, Utica

Historic downtown Utica will welcome revelers as early as 7 a.m. on March 17 for a day of Irish celebration and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy the day inside three large heated tents, as well as at downtown pubs and restaurants.

• O’Mara’s 21st annual St. Paddy’s Day Celebration
Thursday, March 17, O’Mara’s Restaurant, Berkley

O’Mara’s Restaurant, located at 2555 W. 12 Mile Rd. in Berkley, will be open all day on March 17 for its biggest party of the year. 

The restaurant will serve Irish breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by even more Irish dishes starting at 11 a.m. The menu includes shepherd’s pie; steak and Guinness pie; corned beef and cabbage; and fish and chips. The entertainment lineup features Madigan’s Attic, Escaping Pavement, The Ron Coden Show, Brothers of the Sea and Blackthorn. There will be a $5 cover charge starting at 11 a.m. for all shows.                                    

Do you know of another St. Paddy’s Day event that we should include? Email details to or leave us a comment.

C & G Staff Writers Victoria Mitchell and Sara Wojcik contributed to this report.