Saint Patrick's Day is a popular event each year, as friends get together to enjoy a night of Guinness and Irish dancing - although preferably not at the same time! It is always held on 17th March, to honour the passing of Saint Patrick himself, who was the first patron saint of Ireland. The celebration of Saint Patrick's Day - and the country of Ireland in general - is held in many countries all around the world, with Australia right up there with the green festivities.
Canberra in particular, has a number of events around the city to mark this festive day on the Irish calendar. As it is held on a Saturday, it means that celebrations can last all day and all night - and you can guarantee it will! So paint a clover on your cheek, don the brightest green wig you can find and spend the day looking out for little leprechauns - wherever they're hiding!
Look for the wee owner of this hat on 17th March! Image: King O'Malleys Facebook
1/ King O'Malley's Irish pub is the most obvious choice for Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in the heart of the city. Situated on City Walk, this traditional Irish pub, complete with dark wooden panelling and Guinness signs on the walls, will be celebrating all afternoon and evening on Friday, 17th March. There will be Irish dancers, live music, face painting for kids and adults, Guinness on tap and cider tasting. See here for details.
2/ The Canberra Irish Club will be offering a full Irish Breakfast from 8am, Irish dancers performing throughout the day and live music starting from noon - with Fir Croi, Night Potion and Cassidy's Ceili getting the toes tapping. The Canberra Irish Club hasn't restricted their celebrations to just one day - with bands, competitions and a recovery party also planned, for the days before and after. See here for details.
3/ Other Saint Patrick's Day celebrations are sure to be held at the two other Irish pubs in Canberra - PJ O'Reilly's (just a short walk from King O'Malley's) and another PJ O'Reilly's in Tuggeranong, south of the city.
Find your own (over-sized!) leprechaun hat to wear to the Canberra Irish Club! Image: Canberra Irish Club website
4/ Durham Castle Arms is an English pub located in Kingston and this Saint Patrick's Day they will be having Guinness on tap as well as the Limited Release Murrays Irish Red Ale. See here for details.
5/ George Harcourt Inn is an English pub located at Gold Creek Village in Nicholls. This popular pub will be celebrating everything Irish, with $9 pints of Guinness and Kilkenny (and a free cap if you buy one), live music from noon and hearty Irish food such as Irish stew and Guinness Pot Pie. Also look for one of the hidden Leprechauns around the pub to win a $50 Gift Voucher - with 5 prizes to be won. See here and below for details.
6/ Also check out the English pub inside the Australian National University called Wig and Pen, for a good excuse to get together with friends and have a craic!
Image: Original photos from George Harcourt Inn website and Facebook
7/ Tallagandra Hill – Long Lunch Grape Stomp is an event held in Gundaroo, 35 minutes north of the city. Experience the fun of stomping grapes bare foot while spending the afternoon enjoying a buffet lunch by catering company Bella's Feast (former winner of MKR) and listening to the tunes of UK singer songwriter Sorrel Nation. Everyone is welcome to stomp on the day and there will also be teams of eight competing in the Great Shamrock Stomp Off. See here for details.
8/ The Friends of Ireland Society will hold their annual Saint Patrick's Day church service at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Barton, the day before Saint Patricks' Day on Friday, 16th March. See here for details.
9/ Celtic Illusion is coming to the Canberra Theatre Centre, back by popular demand. There will be one performance only before Saint Patrick's Day on Wednesday, 14th March at 7:30pm. See here for details.
10/ Celtic Beat is a performance that will be held at the Canberra Southern Cross Club in Woden, the day after Saint Patrick's Day on Sunday, 18th March, at 3pm. Enjoy music from U2, The Fureys, The Corrs, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor and many more. Why not combine lunch and a show, with a two - course meal in a private dining area beforehand. See here for details.
Where will you be celebrating Saint Patrick's Day this year?
Enjoy all the action of the Celtic Illusion in the CBD. Image: Canberra Theatre Centre website