St. Patrick’s Day Traditions
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, what do you think of first? Green beer, Jamison’s neat, Guinness? Or does your mind gravitate to leprechauns, shamrocks, pots of gold and rainbows? St. Patrick is Ireland’s most famous patron saint. Legend holds he drove the snakes from Ireland, but more likely, he drove paganism from Ireland and replaced it with Christianity. St. Patrick’s Day first started to honor him on the anniversary of his death, on or around March 17th. The people held a massive feast where Lenten food and alcohol restrictions were removed for the celebration, a tradition that continues today. And why the green? It represents the the green, three-leafed shamrock, used by St. Patrick to teach his followers about the holy trinity. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate friendships and make some memories to carry with you the rest of your life. We invite you to make those memories here in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Celebrations in Portsmouth
All Day Street Festival
The celebration begins on Saturday, March 14th. The Olde Towne Public House is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival. Court Street, between High Street and Queen Street will be closed all day. An outdoor stage features live bands from 11 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. In between bands, you’ll find Irish fiddlers and Scottish bagpipers. If you bring the kids, there’s a bounce house to keep them entertained. Look for crafters and even a glass blower across the street in the Courtyard at the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center. And if you’re a corn hole player, you definitely want to compete in the tournament. Olde Towne Public House has put together a full day of activities for you to enjoy. You can also venture up and down High Street and find drink and food specials at bars, pubs, and restaurants throughout the Olde Towne, like Roger Browns, Barons Pub, Bier Garden, Humbolt Steel Company, Longboards, and more. Check out the entertainment line-up Olde Towne Public House has planned:
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Port KnoWhere, a 90’s and 2000’s cover band from Portsmouth, Virginia
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Hey! Hey! from Virginia Beach, Virginia performing your favorite songs from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.
4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Fine Swiss Cheese, modern rock party band from Hampton, Virginia. You definitely don’t want to miss the Cheese Show!
Insider Tip: Olde Towne Public House will be tapping a limited edition keg of Smartmouth Brewing Company’s Saturday Morning IPA. This Lucky Charms inspired, toasted marshmallow brewed beer will be tapped when the festival kicks off. There’s only one keg and when it’s gone it’s gone! Arrive early and sample this hard to find IPA.
The PoNo Party at the Twisted Pig
Port Norfolk, located only two miles from Olde Towne is getting their party on at The Twisted Pig Ale and Smokehouse. The party lasts all four days, from Saturday, March 14 through St. Patricks’s Day on Tuesday, March 17th. They claim it’s the “Best Shamrock Party in Portsmouth.” Stop in any day and get some Irish food, green beer, Irish Car Bombs, Jameson shots, etc. There will be entertainment each night.
Insider Tip: If Irish food or damn good BBQ are not your thing, take a four block drive or walk to Port Norfolk’s other great restaurant, Pizza Box for some awesome NY Style pizza.
Be Irish for a Day (or two)
Everyone knows the Germans love the Irish! Especially on St. Paddy’s Day. The Bier Garden Portsmouth is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with drink specials offered all day on Saturday March 14th and again during the Olde Towne Pub Crawl on March 17th. $3 beers from Carlsberg and O’hara’s breweries as well as $5 specials on Irish whiskies. And don’t forget the ever popular Irish Car Bomb…guaranteed to make some lasting memories (or maybe not).
Insider Tip: The Bier Garden also has a small patio out back. From there, you can access the Bier Garden Market, a place to find a wide selection of German beers, wines, foods, chocolates, and gifts. So if the bar is a bit too crowded, take a walk to the back and enjoy the outdoors.
St. Patrick’s Day Olde Towne Pub Crawl
Portsmouth will be Green with Delight on St Patrick’s Day this year! Our local “Pubs” are offering Irish food menus and drink specials on the actual holiday March 17, 2020. Crawl starts at Gosport at 6pm. Get your shot and swag before roaming the town at your leisure. The party wraps up at Roger Brown’s with a DJ and Prize Winner announcements.
Bring your friends and see if you get lucky in Portsmouth. Find the Leprechaun and win big!!
Participating Pubs, Bars, and Restaurants include:
GOSPORT TAVERN – 702 High Street
GRIFF’S RESTAURANT AND SPORTS LOUNGE – 509 High Street
BARONS PUB – 500 High Street
LONGBOARDS – 440 High Street
THE BIER GARDEN – 438 High Street
OLDE TOWNE PUBLIC HOUSE – 467 Court Street
ROGER BROWNS RESTAURANT AND SPORTS BAR – 316 High Street
LEGENDS BREWING DEPOT – 1 High Street
FISH & SLIPS – 10 Crawford Parkway (Tidewater Yacht Marina)
Insider Tip: The Olde Towne Shuttle will be running throughout the crawl. While most of the participating bars and restaurants are centrally located within 4 blocks, Legend’s and Fish and Slips, while still easily reached on foot, may warrant a ride on the shuttle.
Parking in Olde Towne Portsmouth is always free on the weekends and in the evenings. We suggest you use the garage (B) at Middle Street and London Blvd. You may also use the garage (A) on County Street at Middle St. Remember to exit out of the back by the Children’s Museum of Virginia for the closest access to High Street. There is also a parking garage (C) in front on Legend’s Brewing Depot on Water Street. If you drive to Fish & Slips, there is limited parking at the marina. You may also utilize on street parking where available.
About Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth, Virginia is located in southeastern Virginia. A part of the Hampton Roads community of cites, Portsmouth is 30 minutes from the Virginia Beach oceanfront, less than an hour from Williamsburg, and we share a waterfront with downtown Norfolk. Don’t miss this Coastal Virginia treasure with its collection of antique homes spanning three centuries, its eclectic assortment of hip shops, edgy nightlife, and saucy, one-of-a-kind restaurants. Olde Towne is walkable, from the Children’s Museum of Virginia to the historic park at Fort Nelson and everywhere in between. Just park the car or show up by boat and head out on foot to explore this funky and friendly little city. Looking for a photo op? Take a walk on the Seawall at night and check out the best city light show in all of Hampton Roads. Portsmouth is a groovy little seaport with a happening art scene and an awesome music pavilion featuring the hottest touring bands. When you’re done with Olde Towne, take a ride to Midtown, Churchland, Truxton, Port Norfolk or any of our other historic communities and see what other offbeat places you can discover. Portsmouth is a laidback old city and a fantastic place to hang out for a day, a weekend, or even a lifetime.