St. Patrick’s Day in Colorado Springs
Are you ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Colorado Springs? So are we! This worldwide celebration of Irish culture brings a lot of joy and fun to the Pikes Peak region each March and we are more than ready for a good time. We’ve got a list of ways you can celebrate, from fun events to mouth-watering cuisine.
A (Very Quick) Overview of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day was originally established as public holiday to honor Saint Patrick after his passing on March 17 in 461 CE. St. Patrick was actually a British/Romano Christian who was originally brought to Ireland as a kidnapped slave when he was just 16 years old. He would eventually escape six years later and begin his faith journey. Eventually, he returned to Ireland as a missionary intent on converting the population.
Many stories of Saint Patrick revolve around mini miracles he performed to aid in conversions. The most popular story involves the bishop driving a horde of attacking snakes into the sea. Ireland did not actually have native snakes (it’s a little cold for the slithery set), so many scholars speculate that the “serpents” were an allegorical reference to demons or paganism. During the time of the alleged incident, the bishop was also in the midst of a 40-day fast, so that might also have played a role in his vision.
After his death, Ireland declared March 17 a holiday sometime in the 17th century and it has been such ever since. As Irish families moved from Ireland to other countries, they brought the holiday along with them, adding their own associated traditions and blending them with the cultures of their new homes. In countries like the United States, the holiday has become an all-day ode to the Irish.
St. Patrick’s Day Events in the Pikes Peak Region
Now that you know the origins of the holiday, it’s time for you to join in on the fun. We have a few events you’ll love.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Colorado Springs
Make your way down to Downtown Colorado Springs by noon on March 11 and you’ll be treated to a sea of green and a whole lot of music and madness. This annual parade has been rocking the Pikes Peak region for years and it seems like the whole city shows up. The parade begins at the corner of Tejon Street and St. Vrain Street before moving south all the way to Vermijo Avenue. You can watch the parade at any point along the route, but the organizers say the best seats are at the St. Pat’s Grandstand. There is ample parking downtown near the route with easy-pay meters you can pay and track using an app, or garage parking. You can also park near a PikeRide station and use 23Shamrocks for a free 20-minute ride. Speaking of biking, there’s another event you might enjoy!
Pedalin’ St. Pats
Gather up the family or a crew of your favorite cycling chums and hit the road for the annual St. Pat’s bike ride in Colorado Springs. The ride begins at Trails End Taproom in Old Colorado City and loops the city with a 21-mile and 31-mile option depending on your stamina. The ride passes by Old Colorado City, heads through downtown Colorado Springs along Cascade Avenue and even passes alongside the world-famous Garden of the Gods. The ride is hilly, but it’s also gorgeous. If you can manage to snag a PikeRide, you’ll definitely make use of the e-assist feature to make the ride less challenging. The race begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 11.
Lulu’s Brings the Love of the Irish to Manitou Springs
Lulu’s is not typically an Irish bar, but it is always the place to be for live music and lots of fun. The Lulu’s crew invites everyone to get, in their words, “lucked up” during a weekend of fun that begins with Bandeoke on Thursday, March 16. Bandeoke features a karaoke band where you get a chance to be the lead singer. The venue has drink specials all night long if you need a little liquid courage before you can become the next Hosier. On March 17, the venue will also feature live music from local surf punk band Antivirus. Singalong books are included as part of the show, so be prepared to become a member of the chorus. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. and promises to have you home and in bed by 10 p.m. unless you want to keep on partying.
Where to Find Irish Food in Colorado Springs
It’s not all shamrock shakes and corned beef and cabbage. There are so many delicious options in Irish cuisine that are amazingly tasty. If your favorite way to celebrate a holiday is to eat, we’ve got some great restaurants you can visit. Because they will likely be extremely busy on St. Patrick’s Day, we recommend you call ahead to find out if you’ll need reservations.
Alchemy Irish Pub in Old Colorado City
Alchemy is located in the heart of OCC, right along the main drag with all of the city’s excellent locally owned boutiques and shops. They have a blend of Irish favorites and non-Irish, chef-cultivated dishes that are absolutely delicious. Think fish and chips (Phish and Chips) and bangers and mash. If lamb is what you’re craving, you’ll definitely want to sample their lamb green chili, which comes poured over mashed potatoes and covered with melted cheese. Alchemy also shines with fun cocktails, like their “Rose Tattoo,” which includes gin, ginger, blood orange, cider and smoked rosemary.
Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub in Downtown Colorado Springs
One of the top restaurants that comes to mind when it comes to hearty and delicious cuisine is Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub. It is also the place to be if you’re more inclined toward the suds and spirits of Ireland. The bar has Guinness and Jameson … and dozens of additional imports like Smithwick’s cider and the pricey-but-tasty Midleton Dair Ghaelach. Shifting back to their food menu, you should absolutely order a plate of Irish nachos for the table. This filling dish is made up of house-made potato chips smothered in cheese and topped with more potatoes and a healthy portion of corned beef. The Irish stew is another favorite, as are their boxty options and shepherd’s pie. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, ask about their cottage pie made with Beyond Meat and all sorts of veggies.
Irish Stores in Colorado Springs
If you want to stock up on cool Irish clothes and gear, you don’t need to be relegated to the crowded aisles of big box party stores. You can find Irish shopping in the Pikes Peak region and it’s located in Manitou Springs.
Leprechaun Shoppe in Manitou Springs
Authentic Irish items abound in this quirky shop located along Manitou Avenue in Manitou Springs. We aren’t talking plastic green top hats and shamrock beads — this shop has jewelry, clothing, hats, coffee cups, books and art. We’re big fans of their jewelry selection, which features lots of cool designs ranging from religious pendants to adorable, jeweled shamrock earrings.