Deadwood, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has a lot to offer year round, however, some holidays there are special events spread throughout the town – including St. Patrick’s Day.
The festivities begin this year on Friday, March 15. The Leprechaun Olympics take place at various locations depending on the event. The first event starts at 7:00 pm and they continue until 10:00 pm, followed by the Leprechaun Olympic Award Ceremony. Beginning at 5:00 pm that evening open containers are allowed in certain parts of the town (in official cups only).
The fun continues on Saturday, March 16 with the annual pub crawl. Registration is from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm with the crawl beginning at 3:00 pm. This event is only for those 21 and older. Awards for the pub crawl are given at 8:00 pm that evening. This pub crawl is one of the largest in the region with 1,200 participants expected. That’s a lot of green beer!
One of the highlights of the weekend is the St. Patrick’s Day in Deadwood Parade, which begins on Saturday evening at 7:00 pm on Deadwood’s Main Street. The parade is so popular and well attended, there is a second parade on Sunday, March 17 at 3:00 pm.
Throughout the weekend, there are open container allowances. These times are 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Friday, 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm Saturday, and all day on Sunday, March 17.
St. Patrick’s Day is held in honor of the St. Patrick. Early images of Saint Patrick often depict him driving snakes out of Ireland. However, he is credited with converting Ireland to Christianity in the 5th Century. March 17th marks the anniversary of his death.
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held by early Irish immigrants to the United States in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. In 1762 another parade tradition began in New York City, thus beginning several parade celebrations annually.
Even those without Irish roots get into celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day. Some Irish pubs fill up soon after they open on March 17th. The city of Chicago uses vegetable dye to turn the Chicago River a toxic shade of green for a few hours every year. In Great Britain it is the tradition to wear shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day allowed for a break from Lenten prohibitions including feasting and dancing. A common feast consisted of corned beef and cabbage along with Irish bacon. This traditional feast carried into the United States with Irish immigrants.
No matter what your tradition or way of celebration, it is hard to not get caught up in the excitement of the day’s festivities. St. Patrick’s Day in Deadwood offers some fun activities for the Irish and also those who are only Irish for a day. Make it a weekend and stay at a great Deadwood hotel such as Cadillac Jack’s to complete the experience.