The luck of the Irish will be on full display around Maine on Friday.

Three years ago, St. Patrick’s Day was the first big happening to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with things pretty much back to normal, the day everyone wants to be Irish is back to being as big and bold as it ever was.

That’s evident in the parties, bar crawls, live music, parades and other festivities planned for the weekend all around southern Maine. There are also all-day celebrations at pubs and restaurants and an early morning plunge in the ocean, to make sure you’re wide awake for the holiday.

Here are a few of the area’s St. Patrick’s Day happenings this year. All events are on Friday, unless otherwise noted. The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Portland is not listed because it was held the weekend prior.


Portland Irish pub RiRa always gets things started early on St. Patrick’s Day. The restaurant is organizing its annual Paddy’s Day Plunge at the East End Beach in Portland at 5:30 a.m. The event raises money for the Portland Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation. Then at 6 a.m., the restaurant opens its doors for breakfast – Irish and American. There will be live Irish music and dance performances throughout the day and evening, including the Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band at 11:30 a.m. and dancers from the Stillson School of Irish Dance at noon. For more information and reservations, go to


Skyler Horrigan, a South Portland firefighter, celebrates after taking part in the Paddy’s Day Plunge in 2022. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer


Another early morning way to start your celebration is with the annual raising of the Irish flag at Portland’s Harbor View Park, on York Street near the Casco Bay Bridge. The event starts at 8:30 a.m. when people are invited to gather on the steps of the Maine Irish Heritage Center at the corner of State and Gray streets. Then, the crowd will walk through Portland’s old Irish neighborhood to the park, to raise the flag. Afterward, people are invited to come back to the Maine Irish Heritage Center for coffee, tea and Irish soda bread from 9-10 a.m. For more information, go to


Be witness to history in the making. St. Patrick’s Day will mark the debut of the new Maine U2 tribute band, Slane, at The Frog & Turtle Gastro Pub in Westbrook. Celebrate with the hits of the famed Irish rock band, which has been making chart-topping music since the early 1980s. The restaurant will have a special Irish menu, and there’s no cover charge to see the band. The show is at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to Facebook: Slane – U2 Tribute Band.

Irish flags will be out all over Maine on St. Patrick’s Day. You can join a flag raising on Portland’s waterfront. Photo by Tammy Wells



If you’re looking for something a little more contemplative to celebrate on Friday, consider a St. Patrick’s Day Nature Walk, organized by the Saco Valley Land Trust. The walk will take place at 2 p.m. off Route 1 in Saco and will include walking the Saco Bay Trails’ Middle Goosefare. The walk is less than a mile and includes small hills and bridges. There’ll be a discussion of land conservation and a search for signs of wildlife. Depending on conditions, people may need hiking poles, snowshoes or boots suitable for muddy walking. After the walk, because it is St. Patrick’s Day, after all, walkers will be invited to cross Route 1 to Barreled Souls Brewing for a pint. To reserve a spot, email Abby at For more information, go to


The Great Portland Club St. Patrick’s Day Party is sort of a sampler of Irish culture. The family-friendly event is scheduled for Saturday from 5-11 p.m. and will feature drums and bagpipes from the Dunlap Highland Band and the Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band, dance music by the Portland Ceili Band along with dance lessons, Irish pub songs from Troy R. Bennett, and step dancers from the Stillson School of Irish Dance. There’ll also be complimentary food and drink. The party is in the game room of the Portland Club, on State Street, so there will also be billiards, foosball, shuffleboard and cornhole. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the event day, $5 and $10 for minors. For more information, go to and search “Great Portland Club St. Patrick’s Day Party.”

Paul Parsons of Portland is decked out in St. Patrick’s Day garb as he walks down Commercial Street in the Old Port from one bar to another in an all-day pub crawl last year. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer


The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor will be hosting the band Reverie Road for a night of Celtic-infused music Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The band includes members who’ve been with several other well-known Celtic groups, including Cherish the Ladies, Solas and Gaelic Storm. Fiddler Winifred Horan is also a nine-time National Irish Step Dancer and and All-Ireland fiddle champion. John Williams, who plays accordion and flute, has appeared on the radio shows Mountain Stage and Prairie Home Companion and has performed with The Cheiftains, Nickel Creek and Riverdance. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on show day. For more information, go to

One Longfellow Square in Portland will be hosting a musical St. Paddy’s Day Celebration on Friday at 8 p.m. with the group Fodhla and musicians Mia Bertelli and Benjamin Foss. Tickets are $15. Bertelli and Foss are Maine-based musicians, while members of Fodhla have spent years playing in Ireland. For more information, go to


The Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band will be performing several times around St. Patrick’s Day. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer


The St. Paddy’s Celebration Dinner at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield features a five-course dinner that includes options like corned beef, roasted salmon and vegetarian shepherd’s pie, plus Guinness Irish cream whoopie pies for dessert. Between courses, Maine musician Carol Noonan, also the owner, will play Irish traditional songs with Sonny Barbato on accordion and piano. She also cooks the corned beef. The dinner is $80 and starts at 6 p.m. For more information, go to


This will be the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Bull Feeney’s, a venerable pub in Portland’s Old Port, since 2019. The place opens at 10 a.m. with a buffet that includes a traditional Irish breakfast, boiled dinner, shepherd’s pie, bangers and colcannon and more. Jim Brady will play Irish pub favorites from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. downstairs. The music lineup may change, but other acts slated to play include Stone Free, Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band, Hello Newman and Gratify. Besides the Guinness, Smithwick’s, Harp and Magner’s pouring, there will be more than 30 Irish whiskies available. For more information, go to

Also in the Old Port, Dock Fore bar and restaurant is having corned beef and cabbage sandwiches on a brioche roll, along with corned beef and cabbage pizza. Mustard replaces red sauce in the latter. There are also Jello shots the colors of the Irish flag. There will be a jukebox full of Irish music as well. For more information, go to Facebook: Dock Fore.

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