Frivolity is always overflowing in Pensacola, as we love any excuse to celebrate. A global celebration of Irish culture, St. Patrick’s Day is often observed in eccentric and comical ways, and Pensacola sure has plenty to offer around this quirky holiday.
Camaraderie and laughter fills the streets of Pensacola one Saturday in March, while participants well into the five digits enjoy the largest prediction run in the country — the McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Prediction 5K Run. This year marks the 40th anniversary and could be the biggest event to date. Though the event is publicized as a run, the masses participate with a swift walk. Why, you ask? It may be because the creative outfits hinder a runner’s ability to actually run. Or maybe it’s the sheer number of participants. Either way - I wouldn't necessarily say this race is considered competitive for the average runner… but it’s very competitive in the costume category.
In the sea of green, you’ll see everything from leprechauns, Toy Story army soldiers, kilts, tutus, boas and even a few surprises that will make you giggle or blush. Prop your chair up along the sidelines to see some of the most creative outfits and debauchery coming across the finish line.
As a participant, you’ll want to hurry to the after party at any rate. Green Irish Wakes, a signature McGuire’s alcoholic punch, and green beer will be flowing, along with food and entertainment for participants.
While the McGuire’s Run is a not miss event, get in on other activities throughout town.
What would an Irish holiday be without an organized pub crawl? “Go Irish on the Island” St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl is a full day of exploring eateries and bars on Pensacola Beach. The best part is that you can join the pub crawl in the beginning, middle or end or even brave the entire day. I normally opt for mid-day celebrations to share some Irish love at a few local joints.
The pub crawl progresses through Crabs We Got 'EM, Paddy O’Leary’s Irish Pub, Paradise Bar and Grill, Flounders Chowder House, The Dock, The Sandbar, Shaggy’s, Bamboo Willie’s and Sandshaker Lounge and Package.
The local Irish Pubs and restaurants will be stars of the show on March 17. Located on Palafox Street, O’Rileys Irish Pub is in the heart of downtown Pensacola. Not only is the luck of the Irish inside the establishment, the merriment of partygoers overflows into the streets on this special Irish holiday. The pub offers an assortment of drinks, food, dart boards and pool tables.
Live music will pour out of Paddy O’Leary’s on Pensacola Beach. The cozy bar reminds you of an authentic pub with traditional Irish pub songs and sing-alongs. The Irish Car Bomb is their signature drink and be sure to ask what is takes to become a member of the Irish Car Bomb Drinking Club Hall of Fame. Arrive by 5 p.m. though or you’ll miss a special ceremony and reenactment of Tim Finnegan’s Wake, which starts outdoors and leads into the bar.
Come get a Taste of Ireland in Pensacola for St. Patrick’s Day.