Watch (or March in) the Parade
Cleveland has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a downtown parade since 1867. It's the largest parade in Ohio and one of the largest in the country. This year more than 10,000 people will participate by marching, riding on floats, throwing candy to the crowd, and just adding to the merriment. The parade steps off at 204pm on March 17.(It starts an hour later this year.)
Have a Green Beer and Breakfast
The festivities start early on St. Patrick's Day in downtown Cleveland. Flannery's Pub at Prospect and E. 4th St opens at dawn for breakfast and a pint with a live remote by country radio station, WGAR.
Just around the corner on E 4th St., Pickwick and Frolic generally hosts a morning party with a live radio remote.
Raise a Few at a Downtown Pub
The St Patrick's Day party continues all day at a number of downtown pubs and restaurants. John Q's at Public Square, the end of the parade route, is a good place to warm up and grab a beer and a sandwich. Moriarty's, a storefront Irish pub on E 6th St, pours a perfect pint of Guinness in a cozy space. Flannery's on Prospect continues the party with two bands, and the Flat Iron Cafe, on the east side of the Flats, is known for its no-nonsense, yet tasty meals and Irish beer.
Have an Ale at an East Side Pub
Cleveland's east side may not seem Irish to you, but don't be fooled. The eastern suburbs have their Irish pubs, also. One of the best is Parnell's Pub on Cedar Road at Lee. They offer affordable brews in a cozy atmosphere, and live music too. Further east, at Claddagh's (pictured at left), in Lyndhurst's Legacy Village, the party usually starts around 11am with live music, food, beer, and plenty of Irish fun until 2am.
Mingle at a West Side Pub
Cleveland's west side, home to the majority of the city's Irish decendents, has no shortage of pubs in which to celebrate St Patrick's Day. Try The Harp, just off the shoreway at 44th and Detroit. If the weather's nice, you can drink your pint with a view of downtown on the roof-top patio. Further west, Lakewood's Madison Avenue is lined with Irish pubs. Two of the best are Sullivan's and McGinty's Achill Pub.
Dine on Corned Beef and Cabbage
No St. Patrick's Day celebration would be complete without corned beef and Cleveland serves some of the best. Try Slyman's Restaurant on E 31st St and St. Clair. They start at 6am with corned beef and eggs and move right into Reubens and stacked high corned beef sandwiches for lunch.
Just off of the parade route, try Otto Moser's on Euclid Avenue at Playhouse Square. They've been serving great deli sandwiches with homemade potato salad and giant dill pickles for almost a century.
Go Shopping -- Irish Style
If you're looking for some Irish music, Irish food for a St Patrick's Day celebration at home, or perhaps some Celtic jewelry to give that special lad or lassie, try some Irish shopping at Gaelic Imports on Pearl Road, just south of I-480. Another fun Irish shop is the Irish Cottage (pictured at left) on Sloane in Lakewood. This fanciful store looks as if it were dropped intact from County Cork in Ireland. They feature music, foodstuff, jewelry, woolens, bagpipes...and some of the best scones around.
Why not make St. Patrick's Day an excuse to get away for a few days? Dublin (Ohio), a suburb of Columbus, is just a two-hour drive away, and hosts one of the largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations around. This year's festivities span two days and include a Friday morning parade, a pancake breakfast, a children's tent with storytellers and crafts, nine different Irish bands, and lots of Irish food, Irish beer, and Irish fun!