Milwaukee is a great city to celebrate the country’s favorite homage to all things Irish, St. Patrick’s Day. All through March, but especially on the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day, bars throughout the city offer food and drink specials, have live music, and serve up green beer.
Whether you take part in one of the formally organized events below or create your own celebration by heading over to one of the best Irish bars in the city for some corned beef and Guinness, Milwaukee is the perfect place to party. Read below for a guide to the best events around Milwaukee on St. Patrick’s Day.
Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Milwaukee has the sixth oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade, and it’s definitely worth checking out. The parade this year, which happens to be the 53rd, starts at noon on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The parade basically loops through the western part of downtown. It starts on Old World 3rd Street, runs down Wisconsin Avenue, Plankinton, back around to Old World 3rd Street, and then crosses the river on Juneau Avenue. Bring the kids, grab some seats early on any of these streets, and prepare to enjoy watching a pretty extensive parade that includes around 140 units, with music, local politicians and celebs, and traditional Irish dancers.
If all the parade activities gets you in the mood for some Irish fare or an Irish beer, head down the road to either Mo’s Irish Pub or Trinity Three Irish Pubs.
- Saturday, March 9th 12 pm
- Milwaukee St Patrick’s Day Parade Route: Old World 3rd Street, runs down Wisconsin Avenue, Plankinton Ave, back around to Old World 3rd Street, and then crosses the river on Juneau Avenue.
- Official Parade Website
Jig Jog Run and the Shamrock Shuffle
While the St. Patrick’s Day parade has a long history in Milwaukee, the Jig Jog Run and the Shamrock Shuffle are newer additions to the city’s festivities. Both events are on Saturday, March 2 this year. The Jig Jog Run is a great way to start out the day. It’s a 4k run or stroll along the lake and through Veterans Park from 10:30 am through noon. Tickets are $30, which goes to local charities. Kids and dogs are more than welcome at the Jig Jog Run.
The same organizers of the run put together the Shamrock Shuffle every year as well, although this one is more of an adults-only activity. The shuffle runs from noon through 6 pm. Ticket prices vary, but all of them include a passport lanyard, which gets wearers cover-free entry to popular bars, and discounts on food and drinks. The ticket also gets you a pretty cool t-shirt to wear. There are five entertainment districts participating in this year’s shuffle, including Water Street, Old World 3rd Street, Brady Street, Cathedral Square, and Walker’s Point.
Each area has a bunch of great bars participating, and a few are hosting live music throughout the day. Part of the proceeds for ticket sales goes to the Hunger Task Force and the Special Olympics.
- Saturday, March 2nd 10:30 am (run) and event’s 12-6pm
- Address: S 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Shorewood Shenanigans is a recent addition to the Milwaukee area St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Head up to Shorewood, about fifteen minutes north of downtown, on Saturday, March 16 for plenty of fun starting around noon. The Shorewood Shenanigans involve a few different activities. The main area is around the 4500 block of Oakland Avenue, where the street gets closed off for a great outdoor party with area business vendors and food options, like the Falafel Guys food truck.
There will also be live music all day and Irish cultural demonstrations, like a Gaelic football show. The outdoor party will also spill into a few area bars, like Three Lions Pub. For bar crawlers, there will also be a bus stopping at various Shorewood bars and restaurants to keep the fun going, including Harry’s Bar & Grill, Camp Bar Shorewood, Milwaukee Brat House, Blue’s Egg, and Draft & Vessel, an awesome spot for craft beer. Head up to Shorewood for a great party that lasts all day long.
- Saturday, March 16th
- Address: Block of 4500 Oakland Ave
Build Your Own Irish Bar Crawl
Bar-goers can have a great time on St. Patrick’s Day in Milwaukee by organizing their own bar crawl. Any bar crawl on St. Patrick’s Day should hit some of the best Irish bars in the area. Need a little inspiration? Consider starting your day off at County Clare (1234 N. Astor St.) where the festivities begin at 6 am. Grab some hearty Irish breakfast, have a beer, and enjoy the live music until your group is ready to move on. Walk west and head over to Flannery’s (425 E. Wells St.) in the Cathedral Square neighborhood. The large Irish bar is certain to be packed on St. Patrick’s Day, and should definitely be a good time.
Next, head over to what is certain to be the busiest part of the city, Water Street. Work through the crowd and make your way into Trinity Three Irish Pubs, which is guaranteed to be a wild time. After enjoying another drink (or two), try and stop into Harp (113 Juneau Ave.) right next door. There may be a line, but the wait is worth it, especially to take advantage of their awesome back porch and patio. Make sure to check out our Water Street bar guide before heading out.
Finish off your bar crawl by heading down Old World 3rd Street to get into Mo’s Irish Pub (142 W. Wisconsin Ave.). They have great food to soak up the booze and should have some live music to keep the party going. Celebrate your St. Patrick’s Day right by enjoying some of the best Irish pubs in Milwaukee.