Hardy folks around here love to turn out for St. Paul’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade held rain or shine one week before spring makes its way to Minnesota. St. Paul also hosts the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration at the Landmark Center and St. Patrick’s Day Mass at the Cathedral. Read about those traditional standards in last year’s list at Best Ways For Kids To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2013 In Minnesota. Here are five more of the best St. Patrick’s Day events for families in Minnesota.
Irish Heritage at the Hill House
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Date: March 15-16, 2014
Connect with Irish American heritage through this magnificent monument left by two successful descendants of Ireland. As a daughter of Irish immigrants, Mary Theresa Mehegan held on dearly to her Irish heritage, values and culture all the while embracing the promise of a new and growing America. Wed at the age of 21 to James Jerome Hill, himself of Scotch-Irish heritage, she raised their 10 children and managed the affairs of the household through servants, many of whom were also Irish. A devout Catholic, Mary often attended to the sick and needy of the city. Meanwhile, Hill was building his Great Northern Railway on the route to great financial success.
Anyone taking the tour will delight in beloved Irish songs, organ music, needlework demonstrations and displays of Mary’s meticulous needlework and knit lace. The best part of the tour is the many stories about Mary Hill, John Hill and their servants. Reservations are recommended.
The Wee Leprechaun Costume Contest
Normandy Inn & Suites
405 8th St. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Date: March 15, 2014 at 2 p.m.
Come down to the Normandy for Gaelic delight on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. Every kid pre-registering for this contest will be given a goodies bag with several categories making it possible to win greater prizes. Enter as a family of two or more or enter in one of several age categories. Both boys and girls ages one to three, four to six or seven to nine will compete with a winner in each category. One lucky entrant will be chosen “Wee Leprechaun” and awarded a Wii U game system.
The Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Association
509 Mill St. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55421
Parade: Nicollet Mall (beginning at 11th St. through 5th St.)
Date: March 17, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
The Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade dates back to 1969 when Duff’s Bar and the Bradford’s Pub initiated the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade for Minneapolis. The Sons and Daughters of Ireland provided the single float in this first parade and several members of the Minnesota Vikings rode motorcycles into Duff’s bar to commemorate the parade. The first St. Patrick’s Day Association button was created in 1970 to promote spirit and raise money for The American Diabetes Association. This year, a button and bead set purchase for $5 helps support Camp Needlepoint.
Kiddie St. Patty’s Party
O’Malley’s Irish Pub
1775 Radio Drive, Suite A
Woodbury, MN 55125
Date: March 16, 2014 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Bring the family for lunch and let the kids have the benefit of face painting, balloons and crafts. This family-oriented Irish pub has been built by friends and family from the delicious selections on the menu to the handcrafted booths, bar and fireplace. O’Malley’s namesake, owner Beth’s maternal grandfather Tim O’Malley, “was the most caring and fun man around,” according to the O’Malley website.
American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Date: Through March 16, 2014
The exhibit “American Spirits: the Rise and Fall of Prohibition” closes on Sunday, March 16, a day before St. Patrick’s Day. The central theme of the exhibit is how the American constitution works and is perfectly appropriate for older children and families. Kids will enjoy the video game playing the role of a federal agent tracking down rumrunners. The National Constitution Center weaves a fascinating tale of our country’s constitutional experimentation through re-creation of a speakeasy, several multi-media exhibits, films, music and rare artifacts.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.