Get your shamrock on: St. Patrick’s Day events in and around Asheville

Celtic folk band Carolina Ceili will play at White Horse Black Mountain on Sunday, March 15.

While shades of green begin bursting from trees and Western North Carolina buzzes with spring, Asheville, along with the rest of the beer-loving world, is preparing to get lost in a different sea of green in the coming week.

Unless you’re looking to get pinched, St. Patrick’s Day is the day for wearing green. Green shirts, green shoes, green pants — even green hair.

So put on your fake green mustache, break out your Flogging Molly tee and indulge in St. Patrick’s Day events around the area, celebrating Appalachia’s Scots-Irish heritage — and the slightly offensive stereotype of booze-loving, beer-slamming bar-goers stomping the beat for a fiddle-fronted band.

Jamie Laval fiddles traditional Scottish music on stage. Photo courtesy of Genesis Photography
Jamie Laval fiddles traditional Irish and Scottish music on stage. Photo courtesy of Genesis Photography
  • The Bywater is hosting a gathering for redheads and redhead “enthusiasts,” put on by local social group Asheville Gingers Unite. Partygoers are invited to dress in green and “get their shamrock on.” At 8 p.m., Clydes on Fire will liven up the gathering with a mix of bluegrass, Americana and honky-tonk. Party begins at 6 p.m., on Saturday, March 14. bywaterbar.com
  • Celtic performer Jamie Laval plays from the heart, fiddling the classic sounds of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Quebec. Having won the 2002 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, his performance at the Altamont Theatre is not one to be missed. The nationally touring local musician will stop by for a festive, hometown show on Friday, March 20, at 8 p.m. For more information, click here. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 day of show, and $10 for students. Buy your tickets here.
  • Ready to party all day and night in your green top hat? Jack of the Wood is hosting an all-day, all-night Celtic-fest, with a traditional Celtic jam session in the morning and afternoon, Gypsy Dargle playing Irish folk later in the day and the Red Wellies playing Celtic tunes into the evening — with even more acts yet to be announced. Doors open and the fun begins at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, lasting all day. $10 after 8 p.m. jackofthewood.com
Celt-punk band Cutthroat Shamrock performs at Highland Brewing Company at 6:30 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day.
Celt-punk band Cutthroat Shamrock performs at Highland Brewing Company at 6:30 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • For something a little louder — with a bit more grit, check out Cutthroat Shamrock‘s Appalachian punk-rock, a tribute to the region’s altering Celtic heritage, with some extra edge thrown in. The band begins playing at Highland Brewing Company at 6:30 p.m., following two 30-minute performances by the Drake School of Irish Dance at 5 and 6 p.m. And though St. Patrick traditionally dined on stews, soda bread and potatoes, this year he’ll celebrate at Highland with Vietnamese from Pho Ya Belly food truck. Free. highlandbrewing.com
  • If you’re into the local craft beer scene, Green Man Brewery is throwing a Wonka-tastic double bottle release on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17. Dubbed the Golden Ticket Double Bottle Release Extravaganza, the event keeps a running theme with two new beers: Green Man and the Chocolate Factory chocolate stout, a collaboration with French Broad Chocolate Lounge, and Snozzberry American sour, a Lambic-style wheat beer aged in oak barrels. PrintThe party, complete with costumed characters, will include a tour of Green Man’s new $4 million packaging hall, retail store and rooftop beer garden — (avoid turning into a human blueberry along the way). Melt Your Heart food truck will be on site, serving up Wonka-approved gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Check Green Man’s Facebook page for updates.
  • Outside of Asheville, but still want to celebrate? If you’re out toward Black Mountain, White Horse has a tried-and-true list of St. Patrick’s events that’ll both tire you out and please your ears. Every year, locals gather at the venue around St. Pat’s for the annual Irish Potato Roll — a race where players get a potato and plastic straw, and must use the straw to roll the potato down a track to the finish line. (It’s one of those things you’ve got to see for yourself). Every week, the White Horse Irish Session Players fill the air with songs of old — and this week, both The Southern Highlanders and Carolina Ceili will be joining them. The celebration will be on Sunday, March 15, beginning with the potato roll at 6 p.m., and music at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. whitehorseblackmountain.com
The Belfast Boys will perform on Tuesday, March 17 at White Horse Black Mountain.
  • And that’s not all from White Horse for this holiday. The venue doesn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s for just one day — on Tuesday, March 17, the venue will continue its celebration with an Irish jam session at 6 p.m., and The Belfast Boys following at 8 p.m. The Irish jam is free, but staying for the traditional Irish duo costs $10.  whitehorseblackmountain.com
  • Killing two snakes with one stone (Get it? Snakes? St. Patrick? Ireland?), the Orange Peel has combined its Downtown After 5 summer kickoff party and St. Paddy’s Day for a night of seeing green — for both the audience’s attire and the return of spring and summer to WNC. In its 27th year, DA5 organizers will announce the summer’s line-up at 7:15 p.m., bringing the Blood Gypsies to the stage at 7:30 p.m. for a soulful, celebratory jam of jazz and blues. Doors open on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. $5 at the door. theorangepeel.net

lex18

  • For an event that pleases your eyes, ears and stomach, head to Lex 18 for its St. Patrick’s Feast of Food and Dance. Attendees will enjoy craft whiskey cocktails while sitting down to a show of Irish step-dance and live Celtic music. A four-course meal will intermittently arrive throughout the show, paired with beers matching the flavor tones of the Irish dishes. For the full menu, click here. Tickets to the lavish dinner and performance, beginning around 7 p.m., on Tuesday, March 17, are $95. lex18avl.com
  • Over in West Asheville, the Altamont Brewing Company, celebrating four years of business on St. Pat’s, will be throwing a free Paddy’s party of their own. The band formerly known as the Pickled Irish Pipe Band, now the Pickled Irish Band after parting with its piper, will perform at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 17. After the pickled performers pipe down their playing, songwriter Chris O’Neill will host an open mic session at 8:30 p.m. altamontbrewing.com
  • Hi-Wire Brewing is also hosting a St. Paddy’s shindig, with beer, food and “unexpected characters” promised to show up. Guests are encouraged to come in their greenest attire, and Chef Gary will be cooking up some hop-smoked fingerling frites with a dark malt reduction and car bomb cupcakes. The party takes place on Tuesday, March 17, with food available starting at 4 p.m. Free to attend.

And that’s not all — for more events, go to mountainx.com/clubland — or click here to go straight to March 17’s events.

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About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] gmail.com. Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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One thought on “Get your shamrock on: St. Patrick’s Day events in and around Asheville

  1. Big Al

    Technically, if your ancestors were Scots-Irish (or Scotch-Irish, or Ulster-Scots, or North British Borderers) they were most likely Protestant Presbyterians, so ORANGE would be a more appropriate color.

    This should not be a religious or political issue, but seeing as Asheville is such a snarky PC town, I am sure there will be the usual barrage of haters who will claim that wearing Orange is an anti-Catholic, anti-Irish statement (as it often is in Northern Ireland), but I would remind the haters that Orange IS in the Republic of Ireland’s flag along with the Catholic green. If the Catholic majority in Ireland recognizes and validates its’ Irish Protestants, so should America.

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