Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston
Charleston was home to many Irish immigrants in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, many areas of the city and many local establishments were named after Irish settlers. Today, our residents still celebrate their Irish heritage. Here’s our definitive list of where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston.
Charleston Irish History
It’s no surprise that Charleston hosts so many St. Patrick’s Day festivals, as there is so much Irish history in this town! Just a few fun facts about Irish history in the Holy City include:
- Sullivan’s Island was named after an Irish immigrant, Captain Florence O’Sullivan
- South Carolina’s first Catholic parish was heralded by Irishman Priest Simon Gallagher
- Tommy Condon (owner of the Irish bar and restaurant of the same name) opened the South Carolina Irish Historical Society in 1985
Want to see more of the city’s Irish heritage sites on your own? We recommend heading to the monument to Irish volunteers in St. Lawrence Cemetery and the Charleston Historical Society. But if you just want to join in on the holiday festivities, we’re OK with that too!
Catch the Leprechaun 5K
Start your morning by preemptively running off those extra green beer calories you’re sure to consume later in the day. It’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston.
The Catch the Leprechaun 5K winds through the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Charleston. Runners can sign up for the race online and those who want to watch everyone else burn calories can head to Harry Hallman Jr. Boulevard the morning of the race.
Most of the runners and spectators head to the Charleston St. Patrick’s Day Party afterward.
Charleston St. Patrick’s Day Parade
This city is so Irish-obsessed we actually have two St. Patrick’s Day parades! If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston, you’re going to need to make a big decision: which parade do you attend?!
Possibly the biggest event of the day is the Charleston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Thousands of locals and visitors flock to King Street in March to celebrate the luck of the Irish and see who came up with the most creative floats.
The event starts at 10 a.m. and is free.
After the parade, everyone heads over to the block party in North Charleston (after grabbing lunch at one of the city’s many Irish pubs or restaurants of course).
Just some of the festivities include Irish step dancers, bands, fiddlers and fire trucks.
Or, head up to North Charleston for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Block Party. This event is also free and features live music on three stages, food vendors and a kids zone.
Lowcountry Irish Festival/Charleston Music Hall
If you’re in town a few weeks before St. Paddy’s Day, head to the Lowcountry Irish Fest. This two-day family-friendly festival is a celebration of all things Irish. It takes place annually in February.
Events include live music performances, Irish dancers and some oral Irish Charleston history.
The festival happens each year at the Charleston Music Hall. Other St. Patricks Day events at this venue have included performances by Celtic Woman and other famous Irish and Irish-American acts.
Seanachai Whiskey & Cocktail Bar
We wouldn’t create a list of where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston without mentioning a few Irish pubs and restaurants. One of our favorite places to celebrate the holiday is at Seanachai Whiskey & Cocktail Bar on John’s Island.
This Irish hotspot is known for its craft cocktails, happy hour and Sunday brunch. You can enjoy all three all day on St. Patrick’s Day.
The bar usually has live music and other events to celebrate the day. The food is Irish-lowcountry fusion, and the menu features updated favorites of both cultures. They have an extensive whiskey menu and featured cocktails of the week.
St. Paddy’s Day on King Street Bar Crawl
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to be chained to just one bar stool all night, we recommend going on a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl.
Each year, the crawl starts at The Brick Tavern. You’ll get priority entry to most of the bars on the tour and drink specials all night. The organizers also arrange pub trivia (with prizes!) at each stop.
Simply pick up your crawl card at the first stop and get a stamp at each bar on your list. If you’re one of the first 400 people to get to the finish line, you get a free tee-shirt. Though this is technically a bar crawl, drinking is optional — which means your DD can hang too.
Tommy Condon’s considers itself Charleston’s only ‘true’ Irish pub (though we assume Seanachai probably disagrees).
This cozy pub features live bands almost every night of the week and their menu is full of pub fare. Menu items include Irish nachos, fried green tomatoes, cheddar ale dip and she crab soup.
It will most likely be packed on St. Patrick’s Day, so we recommend heading here as soon as they open if you want to avoid the crowds.
Charleston Historic Tour
If you want to round out your day of festivities, we recommend starting it with a historic walking tour of Charleston!
Discover the history behind the city’s buildings, take photos at Rainbow Row and get fantastic views of Fort Sumter. While our tours aren’t Irish-specific, most of them feature some of the most famous Irish immigrants in Charleston’s history.
Or, if you’re really into Charleston’s Irish history, book one of our private tours to see all the sites related to our immigrant history.