SALT LAKE CITY — Get ready to start seeing green, and not just because spring tulips are beginning to pop out of the ground. St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner on March 17 and Utah is ready for it.
The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Utah was held in Sandy in 1864, according to Irish historian Gerald Mcdonough. The holiday, which was originally a church holiday, is meant to honor Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, who helped to spread Christianity in Ireland.
Even with less than 8 percent of Irish ancestry in Utah as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are still plenty of celebrations of Irish heritage and this beloved holiday throughout the state.
Here is a list of the many ways you can celebrate this beloved holiday around Utah.
Hibernian Society of Utah Salt Lake City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Siamsa
This long-standing tradition is in its 41st year, and it’s taking place in Salt Lake City followed by a Siamsa, which is Salt Lake’s Celtic celebration.
Each year sees a different theme, and this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike, or “The last spike” that joined the rails of the first Transcontinental Railroad across the U.S. Irish immigrants lent a hand, coming here with the Union army to help build the railroad in Utah, and many subsequently settled here, according to the event page.
The parade will take place during rain or shine and hasn’t ever been canceled, according to the Hibernian Society.
It will showcase Irish cultural traditions and history, followed with a “Siamsa," which is a word that comes from an ancient Gaelic language essentially meaning “entertainment” or “celebration.” The Siamsa festival will include traditional Irish music, dance and cuisine.
The line march of the parade will go from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, starting at 200 South and 500 East Salt Lake, proceed west and conclude at State Street.
The Siamsa will take place after the parade at The Gallivan Center, located at 230 S. Main in Salt Lake. Both events are free to attend.
Peery’s Egyptian Theater Celtic Celebration
If you want to experience authentic Irish creative musical arts look no further than Peery’s Egyptian Theater annual Celtic celebration.
The theater will showcase traditional and non-traditional Irish singing and dancing with different performers each year.
This event will take place on Saturday, March 9 at Peery’s Egyptian Theater located at 2415 Washington Blvd. Ogden. It will go from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $13.50 for adults and $8.50 for kids and seniors.
According to the Peery’s Egyptian Theater website, tickets can be purchased online 24/7 through Smithstix, by phone at 801-689-8700 or in person at the Box Office M-F 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Heber Valley Railroad St. Paddy’s Train
If you’re looking for a unique and purely family-friendly way to celebrate the holiday you can hop on the Heber Valley Railroad St. Paddy’s Train on Friday, March 15.
You can take a two-hour round trip while listening to the Logan native “Neo-traditional Irish Folk band” Leaping Lulu play live.
There will be Irish snacks and games with prizes along the way as well, according to its website.
The train will depart at 7 p .m. and return at 9 p.m. The cost to attend is $15 per person.
The Heber Valley Railroad boasts 16 miles of track over the Provo river and along the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains.
If you’re interested in this event or any others, you can find out more here.
A Highland Bagpipe Experience presented by the Utah Pipe Band
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play the Bagpipes or you just like the way they sound, you’re in luck. The Utah Pipe Band is holding a Bagpipe Experience Workshop.
They will be teaching a bit about the history of the bagpipes, as well as a beginning lesson and, of course, a performance. There will be light refreshments served as well.
The workshop event is free and open to the public. It will take place at the Gallivan Center, located at 239 Main Street in Salt Lake, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 15.
The Utah Pipe Band was started by Robert S. Barclay all the way back in 1937. Its Facebook page says that they are the “oldest, continuously organized pipe band in the Western United States.”
You can find more about the Utah Pipe Band and their events here.
Snowbasin Resort St. Patrick’s Day Party
If you’d rather spend your Saint Patrick’s Day searching for a famous “pot o’ gold” in Utah’s scenic mountains, you can go to Snowbasin Resorts St. Patrick’s Day party.
Many traditional Irish dishes will be served, like corned beef and cabbage and Guinness stew, and of course, some green beer to wash it down.
There will be searches for pots of gold with different prizes on the mountain, including a chance to win a 2019/2020 season ski pass.
The day will close out with an après ski party with live music performances at the Cinnabar Lounge starting at 3:30 pm. This year, local folk-rock band Hectic Hobo will be playing the party.
This event is free and open to the public. Snowbasin resort is located at 3295 Snow Basin road in Huntsville. You can find out more about the event and the resort here.