St. Patrick's Day is an increasingly popular holiday that is marked by the color green and — typically — lots of drinking. Today's celebrants include those with Irish heritage as well as those who simply want to have a good time. In the Richmond area, the holiday is considered to be the kickoff for the year's festival season. Given RVA's rich tradition of festive gatherings, the city offers numerous ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a family friendly and sober way.

The Irish Festival

Held Saturday and Sunday, March 25th and 26th, the Irish Festival takes place at 25th Street and Broad Street in the Church Hill neighborhood. In addition to featuring bands both days and dozens of food vendors, the Irish Festival boasts a dedicated kid’s area with face painting and Irish-themed crafts and games. Proceeds from the events benefit a number of Richmond-area charitable organizations.

St. Paddy's Palooza

Innsbrook Pavilion in Glen Allen is the location of St. Paddy's Palooza, a family-friendly event that is slated to occur on March 18th from 11am until 5pm. In addition to live music throughout the day, you can enjoy a Silver Diner photo booth, a hot air balloon, and lots of food options. The Markel-Kids Zone offers something for kids of all ages, including a climbing wall, pony rides, fair treats, and petting zoo.

As an added bonus, you can watch as volunteers shave their heads as they raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a non-profit that funds childhood cancer research.

Shamrock the Block

Head on down to the Boulevard — in between Broad and Leigh Streets — from 12pm until 6pm on March 11th for Shamrock the Block. In addition to live music from favorite Richmond-area bands and a plethora of food and drink options, Shamrock the Block is a kid- and pet-friendly event. A dedicated kid’s area has lots that will appeal to the younger set including games, face painting, bounce,s and more in this event that is in walking distance for people who live in the Museum District or the Fan District.

Blarney Bash

The 17th Street Farmer's Market in Shockoe Bottom goes Irish for the Blarney Bash from 11am until 5pm on March 11. In addition to pipes and drums and Irish dancers, attendees can enjoy fish 'n' chips, BBQ, bratwurst, ham and potato soup, and more. Moon bounces and face painting will be available on-site to entice the tiner of the celebrants.

Don't forget to don your favorite green attire as you and the family head out to enjoy St. Patrick's Day in Richmond this year!