5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in L.A. (Sans the Green Beer)

This year, St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) falls on a Saturday, giving both Irish and non-Irish folks a chance to celebrate the Emerald Isle’s patron saint through music, culture, food and maybe a pint of Guinness.

Los Angeles might not have the largest parades or parties like New York, Chicago or Boston, but there are quite a few St. Patrick’s Day happenings in and around the city of Angels. While many places offer corned beef and cabbage and/or drink specials for the day, we wanted to offer you alternative St. Patty’s Day festivities—without a green beer in sight.

  • Van Morrison Night. Celebrate the music of great Irish troubadour Van Morrison with a special night of cover songs on Saturday at 9 p.m. at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Performers include Schuyler Fisk, Cary Brothers, Hamish Anderson, Joe Purdy, Jesse Tyre Carp, Andy Clockwise and many others. Tickets: $12+ fees. The Hotel Cafe is ages 21+.
  • No Snakes Allowed! A St. Patrick’s Day Cèilidh with Bridgid Ryan A Cèilidh is a social event with Irish Irish folk music, singing, traditional dancing and storytelling. On Saturday at 7 p.m. at UCB Sunset in Hollywood, host Brigid Ryan presents an evening of all of the above, with comedy thrown in for good measure. Performers include Dwana White, Mike Mitchell, Cristin McAlister and others. Tickets: $7+ fees.
  • An Irish Wake: Sad Stories, Funny Scenes. This show is presented in the tradition of an Irish Wake, where tragedy, comedy, sorrow and joy go hand in hand. Also held at UCB Sunset on Saturday at 9 p.m., storytellers John Flynn and Margot Leitman tell tales of heartbreak and sadness, while a cast of improvisers turn their sad stories into comedic gold. Tickets: $12.
  • Celtic Spirit with Eileen Ivers. The Long Beach Symphony presents the Pops! Series concert, Celtic Spirit with Eileen Ivers: A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, on Saturday at 8 p.m. Ivers is a nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion and a music star of Riverdance, and she’ll play a selection of fiddle-forward Celtic tunes. The concert takes place at Long Beach Arena’s Pacific Ballroom. Tickets: $42-$165.
  • Bagpipes and Drums. For free family fun on St. Patrick’s Day, check out St. Patrick’s Day in the Courtyard at One Colorado in Pasadena. Cleary Irish Dance troupe performs and teaches Irish dancing lessons at 11 a.m., and the Pasadena Scots join in the fun with bagpipes and drums later in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the Original Farmers Market on Third Street will feature Celtic music all day long with performances by The Celtic Camerata, Glen the Bagpiper, The Blackwaterside Trio and Lilt’n’Tang. Both events are free, with food and beverages available for purchase .

Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer who loves to tell people what to do (and where to go). Check out her events columns and other musings on PopRadarLA.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.