Vancouver is home to some 250,000 people of proud Irish descent. So when St. Paddy’s Day rolls around, there’s more than just a parade. There’s a full-blown festival: an entire week of music, dance, parties and Celtic spirit.
The eighth annual CelticFest Vancouver kicks off on March 10 with a day-long party in the the waterfront Village on False Creek (formerly Olympic Village). (Editor’s Note: CelticFest represents the 7 Celtic nations, not just Ireland). Expect plenty of fiddling and dancing, Celtic food and free family fun.
Throughout the week, get your jig on at free lunchtime concerts in the heart of downtown at Georgia and Granville Streets (March 15-16). Or stop by Doolin’s, the Blarney Stone or one of the city’s other Irish pubs for all the Celtic tunes and Irish cheer you can handle.
This year’s festival also offers some daring new twists on Celtic music. Kilts and sombreros will be flying at the From Galway to Guadalajara event, a unique concert at downtown’s Edgewater Casino blending Celtic and Mexican music (March 16).
Of course, it wouldn’t be CelticFest without the big St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 17). Some 2,000 participants and more than 200,000 spectators are expected to turn out for pipe-and-drum bands, Irish and Scottish dance groups, acrobats and more.
For the full line-up of CelticFest events, check out the official website.