As we approach St. Patrick’s Day 2021, we’re hopeful that it will prove more fun than last year’s holiday, which just so happens to be the one-year anniversary of when North Carolina’s stay-at-home order, which closed down restaurant dining rooms and bars.
Though we may be able to drink green beer in person this year, it’s important to continue to engage in safe COVID-19 practices and social distancing — even with green beer goggles — and it’s still safer to stay home.
While venturing back to crowded bars may not be in the cards this year, you can still enjoy a beer on the patio or celebrate outdoors with your friends in your backyard with takeout and local beer to go.
Although this St. Paddy’s Day can be celebrated with fewer restrictions this year, COVID-19 continues to spread. Under current restrictions, bars can operate at 30% capacity, and restaurants can operate at 50% capacity. If you arrive somewhere and it’s too crowded, consider grabbing takeout or finding another spot to enjoy the spring weather.
From virtual runs and festivals to in-person, socially distant, outdoor events, here are some ideas to plan your St. Paddy’s Day this year:
Do: This year’s Carolina Irish Fest, Shenanigans and Shamrocks, will be virtual due to COVID-19. The event will take place on March 13 at 7:30 p.m., and features fireside chats with cultural figures, as well as musicians and dancers from around the world.
Details: The free event will take place on YouTube LIVE, and the streaming link will be provided on the landing page on March 13. All donations will go toward the Charlotte Irish American Center.
Do: On March 13 from 8 a.m.-noon, the Color Me Green 5K Trail Run at the U.S. National Whitewater Center will be a dispersed race model this year due to COVID-19. Throughout the race, you can dodge (or seek out) as much green powder as you wish. Awards will be given to the cleanest and greenest racers.
Details: Racers may enter the course at any time beginning at 8 a.m. and must finish by noon. There will be no aid station or supplies this year, due to COVID-19, so be prepared to bring hydration. The last day to pre-register is March 11, when pricing will be $37 for competitive racing and $35 for recreational racing. Day-of registration will run $45 for competitive and $42 for recreational racing. Early packet pickup, which takes place from 5-7 p.m. from March 10-12 at USNWC Outfitters, is recommended to promote social distancing. Day-of pickup will only be available for out-of-town racers.
Do: Enjoy three new St. Patrick’s Day macaron flavors from Amelie’s French Bakery, including dark chocolate butterscotch, Irish coffee and marshmallow lemon meringue. Amelie’s is also offering Shamrock Pâte Sucrée Sugar Cookies to celebrate the holiday.
Details: These are available for pickup at the NoDa, Park Road, Carmel Commons and Rock Hill locations. Seasonal macarons are $2.29 a la carte or available in a 12-pack gift box for $33.95. Orders for gift boxes must be placed by March 7 for shipping.
Do: Get outside on March 13 at The Suffolk Punch and enjoy live music, SPB nitro stout, Guinness Drafts, Irish car bombs and all day themed food specials. If you dress in a St. Paddy’s Day green costume, you’ll be entered to win a prize each hour.
Details: All coronavirus safety protocols apply, including disposable menus, social distancing and required face coverings on the The Suffolk Punch campus, except when seated.
Do: On March 13, participate in the Famous Toastery Virtual Shamrock 4-Miler presented by Novant Health.
Details: This year, the race will be virtual, so you can run in your favorite spots around Charlotte. Registration is $37 per person, and each participant will receive a short-sleeve Recover Brands shirt (while supplies last). Packet pickup is March 11-12 from 10:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. at Midtown, Piper Glen and the University area. Find more details and register here.
Do: Order food and beer to-go for an at-home celebration from Workman’s Friend Irish pub. Options include four-packs of Guinness, fish and chips, the Working Man’s Burger and Shepherd’s pie.
Details: Order online for takeout or delivery.
Editor’s note: This story is developing and will be updated as more events are announced.