Get out your shamrocks. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Western Canada’s biggest celebration of Celtic arts and culture is returning to Vancouver.
CelticFest 2016 hits the city March 10-March 17, packing in a full week of pub-friendly music, spirit tastings, street parties and the big St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Here are a few can’t-miss events for those looking to wear their green with pride:
Rock out with the Irish Rovers: Ambassadors of Irish music, the legendary Irish Rovers have been touring the globe for more than 50 years. Now on their final world tour, they pull into Vancouver just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. March 17; Vogue Theatre; tickets start at $35.
Take your whisky know-how to the next level: A series of whisky tastings in the heart of the city offer plenty of chances to sip and savour. Master the basics in Whisky 101, level up in Whisky 201 or take your obsession to new heights in the Advanced Tasting. Each experience includes five whisky samples. March 14-March 16; Doolin’s Irish Pub; $30-$85.
Put on your dancing shoes for an authentic ceilidh: A down-home Celtic dance party, with rollicking music and plenty of drink, the ceilidh is a perennial highlight of CelticFest. This year’s party features more than a dozen Celtic groups – from rockers to Pipe and Drum corps and Irish dancers – in a club-like downtown setting. March 12; The Imperial; $30.
Wander through the Celtic Village: Granville Street is transformed into a little piece of the Emerald Isle for one weekend every year. As part of Celtic Village, enjoy free live music and street performers, browse through the street market for Celtic treasures and sample an array of fare, from Ireland and beyond. March 12-March 13; Granville Street (between Robson and Nelson Streets); free.
See the St. Patrick’s Day Parade: More than 200,000 spectators crowd the streets of downtown Vancouver for the annual parade, which features some 2,000 participants, from pipe and drum bands to Irish dancers, Celtic musicians, police and fire teams and more. March 13 starting at 11 a.m.; Howe Street, from Davie to Georgia Streets; free.
For the full lineup of events and to purchase advanced tickets, visit the CelticFest website.