Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Wisconsin

Where will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year? When you hear “Wisconsin,” the first thing that comes to mind may not be “That is so Irish!” But the Irish roots run deep in the Badger State.

We've brought to you a roundup of Irish festivals you must check out, and be sure to hit up the biggie at the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee – Irish Fest is a great way to end your summer.

But for St. Patrick’s Day you’ve got a number of parades to choose from as well as pubs, inns and restaurants. Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig! Blessings of St. Patrick to you!

Celebrations

St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMilwaukee

Typically held the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day, gives revelers a chance to celebrate twice. The day begins with mass at – where else – St. Patrick's Church. Grab a seat at one of Wisconsin's grandest parades – the first held outside the 13 colonies back in 1843 – which starts off downtown near The Shops of Grand Avenue at noon.

Head to the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, which occupies the historic Grand Avenue Congregational Church. Events at the cultural center do not just happen in March – concerts and more are sprinkled throughout the year.

St. Patrick's Day Parade & Irish Fest - New London

The town may really be New London but for a week in March you can visit New Dublin, Wisconsin. They feature a number of events – music, dancing, corned beef and cabbage eating – but the week culminates in a day long Irish fest complete with downtown New London, er, Dublin parade – Wisconsin's largest. Be sure not to miss a mock up of a traditional Irish funeral: Finnegan’s Wake.

Keep the festivities going when you pop into Pup’s Irish Pub, just outside of town.

St. Patrick's Day Parade - Madison

Madison once hosted a St. Paddy’s Day parade rivalry between the engineering and law schools at the University of Wisconsin. In fact, the UW banned them in 1940! But today it’s all good fun again and Mad City hosts its annual parade each year. Events kick off at the Overture Center on State Street, not with a pub crawl, but with 5K and 10K runs (and a 2K walk) called the Shamrock Shuffle. Then the flag of Ireland is hoisted in the Capitol Rotunda followed by a parade around the Capitol Square.

Irish Fest - La Crosse

Like Milwaukee, La Crosse hosts an Irish Fest in August, but for St. Patrick’s Day you can expect a parade filled with dancing, singing and plenty of Reuben sandwiches. As you make your way downtown, stop into Dublin Square for Irish music and brews.

Pubs, Inns and Brews

Wisconsin is home to Irish pubs spread out across the state to get your fix of corned beef, cabbage and a good Irish ale. Additionally, several Wisconsin brewers are producing Irish-inspired ales:

Emerald Isle Stout at The Great Dane in Madison, Fitchburg and Wausau

Busted Knuckle Irish Ale from Gray Brewing in Janesville.

Milwaukee and Southeast

Ashling On The Lough - Kenosha

Twelve Irish and other imported beers and a great Irish menu. Order a Black Velvet, a pour of Guinness and Strongbow Cider.

County Clare Irish Inn & Pub - Milwaukee

The accommodations have been written up in The New York Times; the pub is a true local favorite. Yes, great lamb stew, but also a solid vegetarian menu.

House of Guinness Waukesha

Named the #1 Irish Pub in Milwaukee, this is a cozy neighborhood hangout in historic downtown Waukesha.

Northeast

Fiddlers Green - Washington Island

The bar is fashioned from a boat and they are pouring the proper Imperial pint of Guinness.

52 Stafford Historical Inn - Plymouth

In an 1892 building, this is the state’s longest continuously running hotel. But the B&B also serves fine food and drink in the bar.

St. Brendan’s Inn - Green Bay

Irish drink, food, and dancing, plus a lovely place to stay for the night.

West

The Monarch Public House and Preservation Hall Restaurant - Fountain City

Serving customers since 1894, this is definitely one of the oldest places to go for St. Paddy’s.

Paddy Ryan’s Irish Pub - Hudson

The best regional Celtic bands on the weekends and Irish fare made from scratch.

South

Brocach Irish Pub & Restaurant - Madison

Set up right on the Capitol Square with some dazzling interiors, this is the Mad Town’s center for great Irish eating, drinking and live music.

Erin’s Snug Irish Pub & Restaurant - Madison

Enjoy a modern, stand-alone version of an Irish public house.

Suds O’Hanahan’s Irish PubBeloit

Load up on some free peanuts with your pint at this Beloit public house.

North

Basil Restaurant - Weston

Here’s an odd one for you. A Southeast Asian restaurant… serving great shepherd’s pie, Irish stew and Irish beer.