If your days of celebrating until you’re green around the gills on St. Patrick’s Day are a distant memory, don’t worry: There are plenty of family-friendly ways to mark the holiday in Des Moines. After all, everyone feels a wee bit Irish around St. Patrick’s Day. Best of all? A few of these festivities are FREE.
Here are our favorite ways to celebrate Irish culture and St. Patrick’s Day with kids in Des Moines. Sláinte!
Join the Foy School of Irish Dance as they kick off the St. Patrick’s Day Season with their Irish Dance Hooley. Their annual Hooley (a celebration of Irish music and dance) is at the Saydel High School Auditorium with shows at 1:00 and 4:00 pm. Please reserve your spot on-line by March 1st. (A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.) Enjoy Irish dance, music and plenty of craic!
An Irish traditional band with a truly worldwide reach, Téada has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Russia, the Middle East and Australia. They will be on stage at the Temple Theater at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available on Des Moines Performing Arts’ website.
JigJam is a multi-award-winning quartet from the heart of the midlands in Ireland. Blending the best of traditional Irish music with bluegrass and Americana in a new genre which has been branded as ‘CeltGrass’, their onstage energy along with their virtuos musical ability has captivated audiences throughout the world. See them at Holy Trinity Parrish Hall at 8:00 pm. Tickets available on-line.
A family friendly St. Paddy’s Half Marathon and 5K, appropriate for all ages at the Iowa State Capitol Grounds. 7:00 am Packet Pick-Up, 8:15 am Kids Dash Start and 8:30 am Half Marathon & 5K Start.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade – FREE
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade snakes through Downtown Des Moines and is sponsored by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. The parade starts at 12:00 noon. The parade route runs from 15th Street to Grand and then east to 8th Street. The parade fills the streets with costumed marchers, Irish step dancers, bagpipes, drum corps, and more.
Get your GREEN on and get ready to have a great time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the entire family! Following the Parade, the Foy Dancers put on an awesome all-ages show! Food and drinks of all kind are available for sale and you will be treated to a one of a kind Irish House Party with the Foy Irish Dancers! Seating is limited and on a first come basis at the Des Moines Social Club.
St. Patrick’s Day Reception – FREE
After the parade all are welcome at the Marriott Hotel at 7th & Grand for the official Friendly Sons of St. Patrick reception following the parade. Enjoy music by Kelly’s Clan, along with performances by a Des Moines piping group and the Foy Dancers. Food and drink will be available, of course. Parade awards will be presented and raffle prize winners will be announced at 4:00 pm.
March 16th -17th
Experience Dvorak’s masterful Ninth Symphony in a concert celebrating the journey to the New World. First, our nation’s immigrant heritage is brought to vivid life in Ellis Island: The Dream of America, an ambitious new work which blends theatre, narration, historical images, and music to portray immigrants in search of the American dream. Next, celebrated pianist Anne-Marie McDermott plays Gershwin’s uniquely American, jazz-infused Concerto in F. Finally, Dvorak’s famed “New World” Symphony features the evocative sounds of his own American journey. On stage at the Des Moines Civic Center on Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm, find tickets on-line.
Join Ireland’s most exciting young tenor Emmet Cahill as he embarks on his biggest solo tour to date and debuts his brand-new album of traditional Irish songs in 2019! This follows his number-one World Music album “Emmet Cahill’s Ireland” and his sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Emmet will perform many of the songs from the new album, as well as Broadway standards, nostalgic favorites, beloved church hymns and operatic arias that showcase his classical vocal training received at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Tickets are General Admission tickets are $30 and are available at the door.
Let us know if we missed your favorite St. Patrick’s Day event or activity and we’ll add it to the list!