It’s the time of the year Indianapolis bars love the most. The time of year when drinking during the day is a completely acceptable form of recreation, when you’ll get pinched if you’re not wearing the right color, when all of Central Indiana goes green (and I don’t mean environmentally friendly). It’s St. Patrick’s Day, the time of year for a wave of (drunken) green to wash through the city limits, sweeping all Indianapolis people up in its revelry. And the city of Indianapolis has big plans to celebrate. From giving out cash prizes, to dyeing the canal green, to a fun filled parade through the streets of downtown Indianapolis, the Circle City is on the ball when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. On Thursday, March 17, 2011, you can be a part of the legendary 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, going on all day throughout Indy.
|NUVO Newsweekly video of staffer Kate Franzman exploring the many things to do at the 2008 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Indianapolis|
Luck O’ the Lottery
The fun kicks off bright and early at 6:00 a.m. with Luck O’ the Lottery, an annual Indianapolis event that’s sponsored by the Hoosier Lottery. Since 1997, the Indianapolis Central Canal has been dyed green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day (much like the Chicago River in Chicago), and 2011 marks the fifteenth year for this Indianapolis tradition. Join Indianapolis citizens at 6:00 at the Indianapolis Canal Walk near the Indiana History Center for the greening of the canal, refreshments, and live entertainment. Mayor Greg Ballard and the executive director of the Hoosier Lottery, Kathryn Densborn, will be on hand at the official time of river dyeing, the event that kicks off St. Patrick’s Day in Indianapolis. There will be three drawings, where three lucky Indianapolis citizens will get the chance to win Hoosier Lottery Big Jackpot Game prize baskets, valued at $200 each, and each participant will get free coffee, free doughnuts, and free coupons for the Village Pantry and Hoosier Lottery. Luck O’ the Lottery is a great way to start your 2011 St. Patty’s Day Celebration. Wake up with coffee, doughnuts, live Irish entertainment, and the official start of St. Patrick’s Day with Luck O’ the Lottery, part of the 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
|Video of the greening of the Indianapolis Central Canal during the 2010 Luck O’ the Lottery, part of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Indianapolis|
2011 Vermont Street Tent Party
After you witness the Indianapolis Canal flowing green, make your way through the chilly streets of Indy to Vermont Street, between Meridian and Pennsylvania (near University Park), where a heated tent will await revelers starting at 10:00 a.m. The parade this year doesn’t start until 11:30, so the Vermont Street Tent Party is the best way to pre-game and pre-party for the big parade. The Tent Party is a family friendly venue, open for Indianapolis children and adults alike, though true St. Patty’s Day aficionados won’t be disappointed by any lack of festivities: the Tent Party also has a beer garden. TV’s will be on hand for Indianapolis sports fans who don’t want to miss a minute of the NCAA March Madness action, and two Indianapolis restaurants, the Smokehouse on Shelley and Square Rootz Deli, will be providing food to guests. In addition, Highland Reign will be entertaining visitors with their energetic brand of Indianapolis music. Dubbed “progressive Scots-American Celtic with acoustic folk rock undertones,” Highland Reign plays rollicking Scottish rock that’s sure to get the crowd up on their feet and clogging. The 2011 Vermont Street Tent Party will be running from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, so you can always duck inside for a break from the parade.
|Promotional video for the 2010 Vermont Street Party Tent, part of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Indianapolis, coming on Thursday, March 17, 2011|
Also during the 2011 Vermont Street Tent Party, Indianapolis will be honoring their 2011 Irish Citizens of the Year: Sister Barbara McClelland and Sister Rita Ann Wade. Wade has served as a chaplain at St. Vincent’s Hospital for over 21 years, and McClelland has served as a teacher and principal at Holy Cross Central School for fifteen years. Both have been extremely active forces for good in the Indianapolis community because of their work with Miracle Place, an Indianapolis non-profit organization that fosters cultural experiences, hospitality, and outreach on the east side of Indianapolis. McClelland and Wade will be joining the ranks of Francis “F” Quinn, J. Timothy McGinley, and Patrick Fisher as Irish Citizens of the Year.
|Video of Highland Reign performing performing at the Appalachian Celtic Festival in Georgia; Highland Reign will be performing at the Vermont Street Party Tent during the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Indianapolis|
31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Of course, the crown jewel in the whole 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration is the huge St. Patrick’s Day Parade that courses through downtown Indianapolis, now entering its 31st year of existence. The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. on the corner of Pennsylvania and North streets, on the northeast corner of Veterans’ Memorial Plaza. The parade then heads south on Pennsylvania, passing the Indiana War Memorial Museum, University Park, the Indianapolis Star building, and the Birch Bayh Courthouse before turning west on Ohio Street, just before Monument Circle. When the parade reaches Meridian, it will again turn north, terminating at Meridian and Michigan.
|Video of the 2009 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Indianapolis; the 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, March 17, 2011|
This year, the parade will feature countless Indianapolis businesses, political figures, cultural institutions, and much more. Participants in the 31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade include the Indiana National Guard, WLHK 97.1 Hank FM, Channel 8 WISH TV, WYXB 105.7 FM, the mounted unit and Motorcycle Drill Team of the IMPD, a number of Indianapolis schools, members of the Indy Irish Fest, NUVO Newsweekly, the Irish Dancers of Indy, Boomer, Blue, and Rowdy (mascots for the Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis Colts, and Indianapolis Indians, respectively), the Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis 500 princesses from the Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess Program, the Marian University football team and cheerleaders, Channel 13 WTHR, the Indianapolis Athenaeum Foundation, the Indianapolis City Market, and many, many more. Come out to the 31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade to see almost the whole city on one street!
|Video of some sights to see during the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Indianapolis; the 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Thursday, March 17, 2011|
In 2011, downtown Indianapolis is the place to be to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The most Irish of all holidays kicks off earlier than most people are willing to rise, at 6:00 a.m., when the Indianapolis Canal will be dyed green at the 13th Annual Luck O’ the Lottery. At 10:00, you can start the party at the Vermont Street Party Tent, a heated tent full of good times, great beer, delicious food, and Indianapolis sports action on Vermont Street. And once 11:30 rolls around, you can participate in the city wide party that is the 31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, plowing down Pennsylvania Street and up Meridian like a patchwork green quilt of the things that make Indianapolis great. And after the parade ends, the whole city is your oyster for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Since all these festivities are located in downtown Indianapolis, an easy jumping off point to the six Indianapolis cultural districts, you’ll have no problem finding a place to paint the town red…er, green.
2011 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Thursday, March 17, 2011 from 6:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.
Luck O’ the Lottery
Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 6:00 a.m.
Vermont Street Tent Party
Thursday, March 17, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm.
Veterans Memorial Plaza
550 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46204