It’s almost here.. and we aren’t talking about spring. That doesn’t arrive officially until March 20th. No, we are talking about the annual revelry that is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For Detroiters, the Corktown parade and celebration marks the end of winter like nothing else in southeast Michigan. Every year people come from all around to enjoy the parade, run in the Corktown 5k and let’s be honest.. party really hard.
Forecast 58 degrees sunny.
This is the 57th annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 15, and the 34th annual Corktown Race. You can follow the links to sign up. There is also a one mile race and quarter-mile race for the kids. The race starts at 10 a.m. and the parade starts at noon, following its usual route down Michigan Ave. Get there early it gets packed.
As we mentioned before, this is a day to party, have fun and celebrate one of Detroit’s premiere events. After all, it is St. Patrick’s Day, this is one of the few occasions where everyone from your grandmother to your co-workers is encouraged to wear absurd costumes and drink before breakfast. These are some of the places that we think will provide you with a day’s worth of shenanigans in Detroit. Get out there and get weird.
1384 Michigan Ave. Detroit
Nemos is sort of grand central station for the Parade. Located right near the center of the parade route this has for years been a sort of must stop during the festivities. They’ll have heated tents, drink specials and live music. The Balduck Park Ramblers are going to playing most of the day. They have been around a long time and are a great accompaniment to the fun. There is always a wild tailgate outback. Get there early if you want a space.
2068 Michigan Ave. Detroit
“Cead Mile Failte” or one hundred thousand welcomes is the Gaelic League’s slogan. If Nemos is a hub for activity during the parade, the Gaelic League is its headquarters. This is the place to see some seasoned veterans of many St. Patrick Day campaigns. They are super nice and will welcome anyone with open arms. If you are interested in checking something off your Detroit bucket list, this should certainly be one of them. There are tents out back and and they are open from morning til night. Slainte.
McShanes Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar
1460 Michigan Ave, Detroit
Located on the corner of Trumbull and Michigan this is another fun filled St. Patty’s paradise for the reveler. Their doors will be open at 7 a.m. for the serious party animals. They will have live music and a heated tent. There will be all sorts of interesting concoctions to try, such as Guinness with Tia Maria floaters, or green mini-beers with Liqueur 43 and cream. When you get hungry, or need something to soak up the beers, they will have things like bangers and mash, Irish stew, corn beef and cabbage and Shepherd’s pie.
For the hardcore Tuesday drinkers, McShane’s will be open on St. Patrick’s Day at 9 a.m.
PJ’s Lager House
1254 Michigan Ave, Detroit
PJ’s has been around in one way or another since 1914. A cornerstone in the Corktown neighborhood, PJ’s offers a great place to see live music and is always a good time. On parade day they offer free live music from Stone Clover from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Bill Grogan’s Goat from 3 p.m. til 6. They will be following suit with green beers, specials and a limited menu to help you get through the day.
TV Lounge (Bar)
2548 Grand River Ave. Detroit
A little more high energy and vibrant than some of the more traditional Irish style bars along Michigan Ave. If you are into electronic music and dance parties this is the place to go. Sunday nights they have a dance party that lasts til the wee hours and parade day will be no different. They’ll be putting out varied music styles including Techno, house, Chill and Funk. If you have the staying power, or get a late start this is a solid option.
2644 Harrison St. Detroit, MI
Over the course of the two party days Nancy Whiskey will go through 800 pounds of corned beef. If you have never been to this place on parade day it is off the hook. Tucked into the north Corktown neighborhood the place will packed all day on the 15th. Their entire backyard is transformed into a world class mixer. They will have authentic Irish band, The Codgers, playing all day and there will be no end to the drinks. This is one of our favorite places to drink in Detroit. On the 15th, 89X will also be broadcasting live coverage of the parade – and the party – from noon until 5.
Doors open at 9:30 am.
St. Cece’s Pub
1426 Bagley Ave. Detroit
St. Cece’s very layout screams St. Patty’s day. It reminds you of a neighborhood pub on the Irish coast. They will be having a huge tent party as well. Open at 8 a.m. for a traditional Irish brunch – we’re talking bangers and mash. After 11:30, you’ll be able to chow down on some amazing corned beef wraps and other Irish delicacies. You won’t be subjected to only warm green beer and Jameson (not that there is anything wrong with that), you have the option to enjoy any cocktail you desire. There will be live music from the Detroit Hemi’s a fun and local Rock-a-Billy band starting at 12 in the tent.
The Old Shillelagh
349 Monroe St. Detroit
Absolutely no discussion of St. Patrick’s day or the parade is complete without The Old Shillelagh. If you want to post up here all day you can take the shuttle to and from the parade to its location in the central business district. There will music all day on the second floor. There is also a heated patio. Before or after, it doesn’t matter. This is a must stop on the St. Patty’s trail in Detroit. If you want to read more about the history of this place, check out this post.
The Two Way Inn
17897 Mount Elliot Street. Detroit
This is not in Corktown but worth the trek. Located on Detroit’s near east side this is the oldest bar in Detroit, and has topped almost every dive bar list there is. They have been serving drinks and food since 1876. On parade day they will open all day serving all types of Irish fare. The owners typically go through a few hundred pounds of corned beef. In the morning you can grab a breakfast sandwich made with corned beef and eggs on your way downtown, and if you are on your way back to the suburbs you can stop by after the parade for $2 dollars beers, cheap shots and a homemade corned beef dinner.
The Corktown Tavern
1716 Michigan Ave, Detroit
This is one of the more legendary saloons in Detroit. They have music Monday through Saturday and always have good drink specials. On parade day you can hitch a ride down there from either Black Finn in Royal Oak or Tilted Kilt in Novi on one of 12 insane party buses. If that’s not enough, there will be live music provided by Ryan Dilaha & The Miracle Men, Eddie Spaghetti (from the Supersuckers), The Beggars & The Howling Diablos. Doors open at 8 am and stay open late this is going be one heck of a party.
Two James Spirits
2445 Michigan Avenue, Detroit
One of the newest additions to the neighborhood is having their St. Patrick’s party in their back parking lot. They’ll have tents, heaters, live music and as much beer as you could hope for, as well as Guinness as well as their whiskey, gin and vodka.
The Firebird Tavern
419 Monroe Avenue, Detroit
419, Monroe is a fixture in Greektown. This place screams fun. They will have corned beef sandwiches made from Grobbel’s in Eastern Market, that is raw Detroit. Drink specials all day. Open at noon on parade day. If you want to step out of the mayhem that is Michigan Avenue, this is the place to go. Their in house special, The Bushmule, is a spin on the Moscow Mule. Its made with Bushmills Irish Whiskey, and all the proceeds benefit Project Scissor Gait Foundation, an organization that helps kids with AMS, a nasty joint disorder.
Enjoy Detroit responsibly on March 15th. Please remember that the parade itself is also a family affair. If you have the day off on Tuesday, the actual St. Patrick’s day, these bars will be open for the resolute, or for those who couldn’t be there on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Huffington Post