St Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17 and while it is the perfect holiday to grab a cold one and toast with friends, it is not just about drinking the good stuff. Loudoun has multiple ways to celebrate the hidden leprechaun in us all. Here we explore some of the best.
Catch the Go-Karting Leprechaun
Race cars and little green men are not an obvious combination but head over to Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events in Sterling on St Paddy’s Day and from 11 a.m. – midnight, the races on the European-style track involve a leprechaun in a lead go-kart that other drivers must try to overtake. Those who pass him get the chance to win prizes from a “Magic Pot of Gold” draw. Swag on offer includes T-shirts, free races and the chance to pose with the leprechaun for a picture. Fun for all the family.
The Bluemont Shamrock 10k and 5k Fun Run
You have to earn that celebration drink – or even put it off for a day. March 18 - the day after St Patrick’s Day – is the ninth annual Bluemont Shamrock 10k and 5k fun run through the bucolic countryside and backroads of Bluemont. Starting at 9 a.m. from Great Country Farms, the 10K takes you on a scenic journey down gravel back roads past numerous farms and vineyards in the Blue Ridge foothills, while the 5K is a more leisurely out and back on all blacktop roads. Both races end with prizes and post-race celebrations at Dirt Farm Brewing up the hill. You will certainly have deserved that drink. Register here.
Get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit by dressing in glamorous green garments procured from some of Loudoun’s locally owned stores. In Leesburg, Madisonbelle, Lou Lou Boutique or Resourceful Women Thrift Store – all on Loudoun Street – should have you covered. In Middleburg, Zest Clothing & Co or Chloe’s of Middleburg are bound to have the right fabric or accents. For vintage wear – green gowns, dinner dresses, smoking jackets – try the wonderful Nostalgia Boutique in Purcellville. Purcellville is also home to the newly opened Graffiti & Silk by Mobile Hope and the Clothing Closet downtown.
A LITZ St Patrick’s Day Party, Tally Ho
What would St Patrick’s Day be without a bit of rowdy song and dance? Iconic Leesburg music venue Tally Ho hosts a rollicking St Patrick’s night party featuring Maryland funk-jazz outfit LITZ and support from a string of bands including Sweet Life, Solar Circuit and Atlantic Aesthetic. Doors open at 6 p.m. and a VIP ticket gets you a guaranteed seat and access to Irish themed drinks in the cocktail lounge.
St Patrick’s Day Tea, Oatlands Historic House & Gardens
Oatlands’ traditional English Tea gets an Irish makeover March 19, two days after the big day. Treat yourself to scones, Devon cream, local preserves, classic tea sandwiches (cucumber, egg salad, chicken salad) and sweets that include flourless chocolate cake and raspberry gateaux from the Pure Perfection Catering team. The tea in question is Oatlands’ exclusive blend. The tea is served in the Carriage House and there are three seatings available starting starting at 10:30 a.m. Register here.
Win Music Lessons
Popular Irish themed Shamrock Music Shoppe in Purcellville always celebrates St Paddy’s Day. This year they are running a “Lucky You” promo in which you get a free lesson with the purchase of an instrument that costs $150 or more, and 10% off early day lessons between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. “We have 15 brilliant teachers and if it’s Irish music you want, we can teach anything from cèilidh and folk to The Pogues and Dropkick Murphys,” Shop owner Scott Kinney said. The store has won the Best of Loudoun poll for Best Music Instruction ten years in a row, and Best Music Shop five years in a row.
Spanky’s Shenanigans All-Day Party
No Loudoun leprechaun day is complete without popping into much loved Leesburg Irish bar Spanky’s Shenanigans for its annual St Paddy’s hoedown. As is custom, the music starts at 12 p.m. on three separate stages, with performances from the likes of Laura Farrell, Joey Hefner, Old Lady Afro Duo, Mystery Machine and Something’s Brewing on the deck, smoking section and non-smoking stages. Things get serious starting at 8 p.m. when rockers Yoko Says No tear down the house on the main indoor stage. There’s great food including a traditional Corned Beef with Cabbage and celebratory drinks run the gamut from Guinness to Jameson to Bailey’s Irish Cream. Slainte!
St Patrick’s Day Gathering, C’est Bon, Round Hill
Fancy a classy dinner to honor those Irish ancestors? C’est Bon, the event space of bespoke catering company Savoir Faire in Round Hill, opens St Paddy’s evening for a unique family-style dinner with music accompaniment from the Bluemont Celtic Trio. The three-course spread features a creamy potato & leek soup starter, a choice of Corned Beef with Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie or Salmon in Seafood Sauce as entrée and inventive dessert options such as Guinness Chocolate Cake and Bailey’s Irish Cream Soda Bread Pudding. Drinks include themed cocktails and an ample supply of Guinness. Tickets cost $70 per person. Visit here for more details.