St. Patrick’s Day in Key West 2024

Chicago dyes its river green, NYC, Boston, and practically every American city hosts perpetual parades featuring bagpipers, step dancers and politicians galore. Non-practiced imbibers guzzle pitchers of green beer, and chase shots of Irish Whisky with pints of Guinness, or mugs of said cheap, green beer. The luck of the Irish awaits you at the end of the rainbow in Key West!

March 17th, 2024

Erin & Key West Go Bragh!

(Translation: Ireland and Key West Forever/ Until the End of Time)

On this colorful isle, where basically everyday can be a boozy holiday with pagan origins (See St. Patrick’s Day Facts Below), islanders and visitors celebrate the holiday with a myriad of feasts and festivities. Of course, some opt for staying by their pools or boating to nearby sandbars for secluded fun in the sun!

If you stay ashore and want to venture out, you can start the day by walking, or running the Irish Kevin’s Shamrock Shuffle 1K, 5K & 10K. The 11th Annual Event starts & finishes at Irish Kevin’s with an amazing Post-Race Party. 100% of the proceeds benefit select nonprofits, so it’s a St. Paddy’s Party with a Purpose!

Many island establishments go the extra mile providing St. Paddy’s Shenanigans and here are just a few:

The Marker Resort (200 William St.)St. Paddy’s Day with THE RED ELVISES – Concert & Pool Party! Swim in one of the shimmering pools while you rock out to the eclectic show.

The Schooner Warf Bar (202 William St.) will feature live music, Irish food, and drink specials.  Its harborside location and “Old Key West” vibe, present a great option to celebrate off the Duval Crawl circuit.

The Waterfront Brewery (201 William St.) will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day Party on the Roof. Enjoy their locally brewed beers, including the popular 

Crazy Lady Honey Blonde Ale.

The St. Paddy’s Day Pub Strolls offer the quintessential Duval Crawl experience.  Historically, they have begun at Tattoos & Scars Saloon (512 Greene St.), Rick’s Durty Harry’s (202-208 Duval St.) and Bourbon Street Pub (724 Duval St.), among others. The different tours offer T-shirts, Logo cups, and a drink at all stops. 

St. Patrick’s Brief Bio

Patrick was of Romano-British heritage and born in the late 300’s A.D, He was captured, enslaved, and brought to Ireland at the age of 15. He spent about five years herding livestock and discovering God, who it is told, sent an angel instructing him to escape back to Britain. Once home, he studied the Bible and later returned to Ireland as a bishop. He spent the rest of his life baptizing Druids, placating Celtic kings by bringing them gifts, and proselytizing to whoever would listen.

On, or about, March 17, 461 A.D., Bishop Patrick, apostle of Ireland, died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland. There was no formal canonization process yet; therefore, he was declared a saint by popular opinion. Today, still not an official saint, he is honored with this namesake holiday. The date of his purported death was a pagan holiday (Aren’t you glad you kept reading?), Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, celebrating nature’s rebirth and balance of the universe, night & day of equal length.

St. Patrick’s Day Fallacies

This Saint’s Day does NOT celebrate his driving out all the snakes from Ireland. Scholars agree that Ireland was not overrun with actual snakes, but some believe the snakes represent the Druid people, who Patrick metaphorically drove out by converting as many of them as possible.

Leprechauns and magical creatures are still part of today’s Irish lore, but they mostly derive from offensive caricatures of the Irish people created during their emigration to the U.S. in the mid 1800’s.

Corned beef and cabbage did not originate in Ireland. The term “corned” comes from the usage of large, grained rock salt, called “corns” used in the salting process of the lesser expensive, brisket-type cut of meat. The Irish immigrants first encountered corned beef at Jewish delis and noticed its similarity to Irish bacon. Cooking the corned beef with cabbage and root vegetables was another choice based on cost savings and ease of preparation in one pot.