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The region is gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day 2018. And whether you prefer parades, pub crawls, or polar bear plunges, there’s a St. Patrick’s Day activity for everyone, in every New England state.
Connecticut: Tavern Night: A Taste of Ireland in West Hartford
Get a side of history with your Irish fare at the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society’s St. Patrick’s Day Tavern Night on Friday and Saturday. Eat Guinness steak pie and Irish soda bread while listening to Irish music, watching Irish step dancing, and playing 19th-century tavern games such as Shove Ha’penny by lantern light. (Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 at 6 p.m.; 227 South Main St., West Hartford, Connecticut; $35 for museum members, $40 general admission; all ages)
If cold water doesn’t scare you, head to East End Beach at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday for the Rí Rá Paddy’s Day Plunge. It’s a 17-year tradition that raises money for the Portland Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation. Afterward, swimmers can gather for a complimentary St. Patrick’s Day Irish breakfast at Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant, followed by a live auction and raffle. If that sounds too chilly, stay dry and just donate to the cause. (Saturday, March 17 at 5:30 a.m. at East End Beach, Portland, Maine; no minimum fundraising amount required for the plunge, complimentary breakfast for jumpers only; all ages)
Massachusetts: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston
Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, hosted by the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston, is a massive event and a 117-year-old Massachusetts tradition. This year, the three-mile parade route will include 250 marching groups, 75 floats, and 35 bands, according to parade organizer Tim Duross. (Sunday, March 18 at 1 p.m.; parade begins at the Broadway MBTA station; free; all ages)
New Hampshire: St. Patrick’s Comedy Gala in Portsmouth
Get ready to laugh during the St. Patrick’s Comedy Gala, taking place Saturday at Portsmouth’s historic Music Hall. It will feature three Irish comics from New England: Jim McCue, who has appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and who founded the Boston Comedy Festival; Joey Carroll, who has been featured on Comedy Central’s “Pulp Comics” and WCVB’s “Chronicle”; and Kendra Cunningham, who has also appeared on “Last Comic Standing” and whose short film once won the Boston Comedy Festival. (Saturday, March 17 at 8 p.m.; 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, New Hampshire; $32 for restricted view seats and $37 for full view seats; all ages)
Go bar hopping in Providence at the Whiskey Republic, Hanley’s Ale House, The Stable, Hot Club, and G Pub during the city’s “Luck of the Irish” St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl. Revelers get free entry into the bars, which will have live music, drink specials, and giveaways. Participants should buy a ticket online, print out an e-ticket, and then pick up a wristband and bar map at Whiskey Republic between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, the day of the crawl. (Saturday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; various bars in Providence, Rhode Island; $13.75; 21-plus)
Vermont: ShamRock Fest in West Dover
Getting festive at Mount Snow’s annual ShamRock Fest, a two-day event taking place Friday and Saturday, means “eggs and kegs” in the mornings, live Irish music, and a scavenger hunt for a toy pot of gold — the winner will be awarded a season pass. There will be free music performances in the main base area between noon and 5 p.m. on both days. Performances at the Snow Barn at 9 p.m. both days require a paid ticket. Bonus: You can currently snag $17 lift tickets for Friday online while supplies last (an $83 savings). (Friday, March 16 and Saturday March 17 from 8 a.m. to midnight; Mount Snow, 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, Vermont; $15 online and $20 at the door for Snow Barn performances; all ages during the day, 21-plus for Snow Barn performances)