Visitors and residents alike will tell you that the Quad Cities puts on one of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the Midwest, and hosts Iowa’s largest St. Patrick’s Day party.
International music duo Four Shillings Short perform a special concert celebrating the music, poetry and storytelling tradition of Ireland on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. at the River Music Experience, 129 Main St. in Davenport, Iowa. The evening opens with music on the Celtic Harp performed by local harpist Laural Almquist.
A concert on Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m. celebrating St. Patrick’s Day will be performed by the Augustana Flute Choir, Augustana flute trios and quartets, and Heart Strings, a Celtic quartet with flute, violin, guitar, and recorder/Celtic harp at Wallenberg Hall.
Before the parade on Saturday, March 18, it’s CASI’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Race. The races start and finish at the River Music Experience Courtyard, 129 Main St. in downtown Davenport, Iowa. Three race categories are offered: 9:00 a.m. Tot Trot; 9:30 a.m. 1-mile Family Run/Walk; 10:00 a.m. 5K Run/Walk.
Heralded as the only interstate St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the nation, the Quad Cities Grand Parade XXXII on Saturday, March 18, begins in downtown Rock Island, Illinois, and winds its way to the Centennial Bridge. Then it crosses the bridge over the Mississippi River and marches into downtown Davenport, Iowa.
Thousands line the streets to watch the bands, Irish dancers, floats, groups, and family clans. Named as one of the top ten St. Patrick’s Day Parades in North America, this annual parade, organized by the St. Patrick Society of the Quad Cities, starts at 11:30 a.m. and ends by 1:30 p.m.
Immediately following the Grand Parade, a Post Parade Bash is held at the RiverCenter, 136 East Third Street in downtown Davenport. The doors open at 1:00 p.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. Entry to the Post Parade Bash is by membership, with $15 memberships available at the door. You don’t have to be Irish to join. Persons 15 and under, accompanied by an adult, are free. The Bash includes food, drink, live Irish music and dancers, along with the presentation of the parade trophy winners.
Now in its 13th year, Kelly’s Irish Pub & Eatery in Davenport hosts Iowa’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day party on March 17-18. The skydiving leprechauns will be back this year, along with bagpipers, Irish music and dancers, magicians and jugglers. Kelly’s cooks a ton of corned beef; literally 2000 pounds of corned beef will be served, and 150 kegs of green beer. There will be live music throughout the two days, and heated tent space. There is no charge for admission, and a free shuttle available to take people home. Schedule of bands on Facebook.
Also in Davenport, Harrington’s Pub has a huge St. Paddy’s Day Bash on Friday and Saturday! There is live music on Saturday from 2:30-12:30 with Greg and Rich Acoustic Duo, Jeff and Jordan, and the Quad Cities dueling guitars – Booze Cruz! There is also drink specials all day and complimentary corned beef and cabbage while it lasts.
Downtown Davenport has put together a list of their specials happening on March 17-18.
Downtown Rock Island has their list of specials put together too for Parade Day on March 18.
Across the river in Rock Island, Kavanaugh’s Hilltop hosts their 5th Annual Shamrockin’ Paddy O’Party on March 17-18 with an expanded area, larger heated tent, more food and live music with the Greg & Rich Duo, Barley House Band, Mayer School of Irish Dance, Funktastic 5, Dirt Road Rockers, and more.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 19 from 2-5 p.m. with live music from The Black Velvet Band at the picturesque Wide River Winery in Clinton, IA.
Need an Irish Belt for the parade? Stop by Quad Cities Gifts in downtown Moline. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5.