Pub crawls on St. Patrick’s Day are so 2006. But going green has never been more fun than when you’ve got your own little leprechauns on the loose. Here are our favorite spots around town to kiss the Blarney Stone.
St Patricks Day Parade Kids_via flickr creative commons jmpminmontreal

Photo: jpinmontreal via flickr

Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade: Saturday, March 12
The 134th Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, one of the oldest parades of its kind in the U.S. and longest running event in Atlanta’s history, returns to the streets of Midtown. The family-friendly event will feature highlights such as the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales and the world’s largest walking flag, which is carried by dozens of marchers. Last year’s parade was attended by more than 80,000 spectators, so plan to get there early via MARTA.

Where: Peachtree St. and 16th St. in Midtown from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online: atlantastpats.com

St. Patricks Day kid

Photo: Erin Borrini via flickr

Smyrna St. Patrick’s Day Fest: Thursday, March 17 and Saturday, March 19
The Smyrna St. Patrick’s Day Fest is packed with awesome live music, contests, rides and games guaranteed to entertain kiddos and adults alike. If you’re looking for alcohol-free fun, you can watch the town mayor dye a fountain green and hit the carnival rides.

Where: Smyrna Market Village, 2840 Atlanta Rd. Smyrna 
Online: www.smyrnastpatricksdayfest.com 

St. Patricks Parade

Photo: Kimberly Vardeman via flickr 

ShamRock The Station: Saturday, March 12 
Central Park will be turning green with free activities and music all day, including music artists JR JR, Grizfolk, The Strumbellas, Declan McKenna, and All the Locals! And if you’re interested in catching the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, Atlantic Station is just a short walk from the beginning of the line.

Where: Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Dr.
Online:  atlanticstation.com

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Photo: Dave Wright via flickr

Sham Rock & Roll 5K at Atlantic Station, Saturday, March 6
Grab your running shoes and hit the road for this fun 5K. Walking, strollers and dogs on leashes are okay too, so bring the whole family, and expect to see a sea of green.

Where: Atlantic Station at 8:30 a.m.
Online: jlaatlanta.org

kilts

Photo: Jamie McCaffrey via flickr

WELSHfest, Saturday, March 19
Head to tiny Rockmart, Georgia (just over an hour from Atlanta) for a celebration of all things Welsh, plus a special area for kiddos under 12 on the lawn of the Rockmart History Museum.

Where: Downtown Rockmart from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Online: welshfest.vpweb.com

greenfudge

Photo: Rock City

Worth the Drive: Shamrock City (Rock City Gardens) March 12, 13, 19 & 20 
Up for a day trip? Then visit Rock City’s 9th annual St. Patrick’s Day festival. It’s less than a two-hour drive north of Atlanta—and you’ll enjoy traditional Irish food (and some non-traditional like green fudge!) plus learn an Irish jig. Take a fun family picture with a St. Patty’s-themed costume character. Before you leave, make sure you stop by the Blarney Stone Climbing Wall, where kids can win a “lucky surprise” for reaching the top.

Where: Rock City Gardens, 1400 Patten Rd., Lookout Mountain from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Online:  www.seerockcity.com

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s day this year? Tell us about it below!

—Shelley Massey & Jessica Obenschain