Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Fort Wayne

Although Fort Wayne isn’t known as a place with particularly strong Irish heritage, the town still get’s down on March 17th.

While many of the area’s adult establishments have big plans, there are family fun things to do as well.  For Example, there’s Get Green Fest 2013, a full day of family fun.  Just note that most of this year’s activities take place on Saturday, March 16 (St Patrick’s Eve, if you will), rather than on St. Pat’s Day itself, which is Sunday, March 17th.

First up, Put on your kilts and walk or run through the streets of downtown! (Kilts are optional.) This all ages 5K race starts and ends at the Calhoun Street cul-de-sac. Last year, nearly 1,000 people participated.

After the 5K, it’s the Parade to River Greening on the old Wells Street bridge at 10:30 am. Follow the bagpipers, Lucky the Leprechaun, Hoosier Lottery representatives, and the FWFD Museum’s 1942 fire truck in a short walking parade to the annual river greening! Starting at the Calhoun cul-de-sac, attendees head toward Main, then walk up Ewing to Superior. The parade wraps up on the old Wells Street Bridge just in time for the river greening to begin.

At 11am, head to the OldWellsStreetBridge for the River BS and help our Fort Wayne Firefighters turn the St. Mary’s River green using eco-friendly vegetable dye. Kids love to hold the nozzle and take part in this great annual event.

There’s more. Check out this website for full details: http://fortwaynegetgreen.com/main/ 


On Sunday, even one of the downtown pubs will be family friendly.  J.K. O’Donnells will offer an all-ages tent offering Irish food and music.  Admission is $5 for anyone over 12, but free for those under 12.

The downtown Irish pub will again have an all-ages tent on Wayne Street. Entertainment will be provided by Belfast troubadour Rod Cordner, the Wander Indiana String Collective and Woodstove Flapjacks Stringband of Lafayette.

Flaps opens at 5 p.m.  Admission is $5 for people older than 12 and free for those younger.


Of Course, Fort Wayne is home to the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in existence.  It’s the world famous 300 or so yard long parade at Deer Park Pub on Leesburgh Road.

You can join the parade for free and feel free to wear any costume, drive any vehicle or play any musical instrument you prefer as long as it’s safe and family-friendly.

According to the Journal Gazette, The parade starts at 5:30 p.m., but doughnuts and coffee will be available at the lodge starting at 8 a.m, and a new event, a strongman keg toss, begins at 4:45 p.m.

Owner, Tom Henry says traditional tunes will be provided by folk music specialist Joyce Fry and members of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.  Wooden Nickel manager Tim Hogan has put together a master mix of Irish songs to be played throughout the festivities.

And don’t forget O’Sullivans, and O’Reilley’s pubs.  For that matter, on St. Patricks day, almost any bar is likely to put an O in front of it’s name and offer some green beer, and Irish Whiskey, so you really can’t go wrong.

And one more thing St. Patrick, being the good saint he is would probably tell you, party responsibly.

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