Bagpipers, Irish dancers and celebratory parades galore help ring in spring and St. Patrick’s Day. From March 11-19 you and your little leprechauns can wear the green, share the lilt of Irish laughter, put a Celtic skip in your step and explore the magic of Ireland at the following St. Patrick’s Day events in and around Portland. Read on for details.

St. Patrick leads parade, photo by Megan Maitland and courtesy of St. Agatha Catholic School

photo: Megan Maitland

Sellwood-Moreland St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival 
Originally for the school and parish of St. Agatha, this annual event now includes the whole community. The 5k fun run is followed by a neighborhood parade, led by the Sellwood Middle School Marching Band. Expect a sea of green-clad children and grownups winding through the streets, many with decorated bikes, strollers and wagons. After the parade, head to St. Agatha for a festival of live music, Irish dancing, a kid’s carnival and hearty Irish fare.

Sat., Mar. 12
11 a.m. (run); noon (parade)
Entry fees: Fun run $10/individual; $20/family
St. Agatha Catholic School
7960 SE 15th Ave.

Murphy’s Furniture St. Patrick’s Day Parade 
This 40-year-old Hillsboro tradition, held by Murphy’s Furniture, kicks off with an hour-long parade through town. Want to join the spectacle? Gather up some family and/or friends, fill out the entry form and pay the fee – just be sure to turn it in ahead of time. Past entries include floats, car clubs and a motorcycle drill team. The fun continues with a Corned Beef and Cabbage lunch at the Hillsboro Civic Center. All proceeds go to the Hillsboro Boys and Girls Club.

Sat., Mar. 12
9 a.m. (staging); 11 a.m. (parade); noon (lunch)
Entry fee: $20/each parade entry
Hare Field
1151 NE Grant St.

The Band Playingphoto: St. Agatha Catholic School by David Shenson

Shamrock Run 
Every year 35,000 Portlanders gather in the heart of downtown for the largest running and walking event in Oregon. Choose between a 5k, 8k, 15k, half marathon run or a stroller- and dog-friendly 5k fitness walk, known as the Shamrock Stride. All ages can get in on the action in the 5k and 8k runs as well as the walk; the 15k and half marathon are only open to ages 13 and older. For shorter legs (ages 10 and younger), there’s also the Leprechaun Lap, a 1k (0.6-mile) run/walk.

Sun., Mar. 13
Run times vary, see website for details.
Entry fees: $15-$44/5Ks, 8k and lap; $54-95/15k and half-marathon
All events start at SW Naito Parkway and Pine Street, adjacent to Waterfront Park

All-Irish Cultural Society St. Patrick’s Day Festival 
Now celebrating its 75th year, the All-Irish Cultural Society’s St. Patrick’s Day festival at the Ambridge Center is one of the oldest in the state. Expect authentic Irish pipes, drums, a sing-along and step dancers. Children will also enjoy their own special activities, including face painting, a coloring contest and a professional puppet show. Make an evening of it by staying for the traditional Irish supper.

Thurs., Mar. 17
Thursday 4 p.m. (doors open); 4:30 p.m. (entertainment begins)
Entry fees: $10/adult; $5/teens; $2/kids
Ambridge Center
1333 NE MLK Jr. Blvd.

Clackamas Firefighters on St. Patrick's Day Band

photo: St. Agatha Catholic School / David Shenson

St. Patrick’s Day at McMenamins
Whether you’re Irish by heritage or Irish-at-heart, McMenamins welcomes all ages to come celebrate at a handful of their locations. Entertainments include free live Celtic music, Irish dancing, roving bagpipers, balloon twisters, face painters and leprechauns handing out candy.

Thurs., Mar. 17
Times vary by location. See website for schedules.
Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Ave.

2126 SW Halsey St.

Grand Lodge
3505 Pacific Ave.
Forest Grove

Wilsonville Old Church
30340 SW Boones Ferry Rd.

Hotel Oregon
310 NE Evans St.

Girl Smiling on St. Patricks Day

photo: Jeffrey via flickr

Kell’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival 
Each year Kell’s Restaurant & Pub pulls out all the stops for their multi-day St. Patrick’s Day Festival, arguably the largest of its kind in the Northwest. There’s even an entire day dedicated to family events on Saturday Mar/ 19. Activities include lots of live music, dance performances, face painting, arts & crafts and more.

Thurs.-Sat., Mar. 17-19
Hours vary. See website for schedule and entertainment lineup.
112 SW 2nd Ave.

How will your family celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Let us know in the comments!

—Carrie Uffindell