Vancouver CelticFest is a Celtic festival over St. Patrick’s Day week that usually includes concerts, whisky tastings, live music and street parties.
For information about other St. Patrick’s Day-related events in the Lower Mainland, click Vancouver on St. Patrick’s Day.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY EVENTS IN 2023
Top things to do in the Lower Mainland on the weekend of March 17th to 19th in 2023 include going on a Saint Patrick’s Day Boat Party and taking in a St. Patrick’s Day-themed party like the one at the Eagle’s Hall with Persons of Interest in North Vancouver or with the same band at the Blarney Stone Pub in Gastown.
Unrelated to St. Patrick’s Day, other things to check out on the St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2023 include ABRA Cadabra Abba Tribute Concerts in Mission and Surrey, and both the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. and SYNCRA City exhibitions in Burnaby and Vancouver.
This weekend, there is also of course CeltricFest which features both ticketed and free events. To learn about CelticFest in 2023, continue reading.
CelticFest St. Patrick’s Celebrations
Most CelticFest events in 2020 were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the festival took place in a virtual format in 2021. In 2022, CelticFest returned with in-person events from March 16th to the 20th.
CelticFest is happening again in 2023, from March 11th to the 18th. One of their first events is a concert with the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir on March 11th. The choir performs on March 12th in Maple Ridge at an event unrelated to CelticFest.
See below for a description of other CelticFest events in 2023.
CelticFest in 2023
The 18th annual CelticFest includes a variety show, a breakfast event, Irish music, and more. There’s also an outdoor festival on the Friday and Saturday that’s open to the public with live performances, a pop-up market and other activities.
The 2023 schedule of events is listed below.
Saturday, March 11th, 2023
- Our Hearts in the Highland – a concert by the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir. It’s an evening of music from 7:00 to 8:45 pm at the Christ Church Cathedral. Tickets cost between $20 and $40 per person.
Thursday, March 16th, 2023
- ICCCVAN St. Patrick’s Breakfast Event – a breakfast and networking event with Simon Harris at the Vancouver Terminal City Club from 7:00 to 9:00 am. Tickets start at $65 each.
- What’s the Craic? – a burlesque and variety show at the Rio Theatre. It’s a sexy St. Patrick’s Day celebration with live music, comedy and more. General admission starts at $30.
- Unrelated to CelticFest, this is also the same day that the band Persons of Interest performs at the Blarney Stone Pub in Gastown.
Friday, March 17th, 2023
- Ceilidh – a night of Irish and Scottish music and dancing at the Hellenic Community Centre in Vancouver. Performers at the event include the band Blackthorn, the Eire Born Irish Dance Company, Shot of Scotch Vancouver and BC Regiment Irish Pipes & Drums. Tickets cost $25 for adults and the event runs from 7:00 to 11:00 pm.
- CelticFest Vancouver – free concerts and activities outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery run from 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm. There’s a beer tent and lots of live entertainment. Musical guests throughout the evening include Lavengro, Irish Wakers, Kentucky Elieen, Paul Caldwell, Brian O’Brien and Seen or Found Featuring Devon Wells.
- Unrelated to CelticFest, this is also the same day that the band Persons of Interest performs at the Eagles Hall in North Vancouver.
Saturday, March 18th, 2023
- CelticFest Vancouver – free activities continue outside the Vancouver Art Gallery from 10:00 am until about 11:00 pm. There’s kids’ storytelling in the morning, as well as a family zone, market, beer tent and more during the day. Featured performers include WhiskeyDicks, The Sheets, Shane Beirne, Pat Chessel Band, and many more.
- Unrelated to CelticFest, this is also the same day that the St. Patrick’s Day Boat Party takes place in Vancouver. (TIP: With this event, if you use the promo code VBP15 you’ll save yourself 15% on tickets.)
Note: details above are subject to change. See the CelticFest Vancouver website for the most up-to-date information.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY BOAT PARTY
Unrelated to CelticFest, a nightclub-style boat party takes place on the night of March 18th in 2023. Hosted by Vancouver Boat Parties, the boat departs from False Creek and goes out into English Bay and Burrard Inlet. The event is for adults ages 19+ and participants are encouraged to wear green. (TIP: Don’t forget to use the promo code VBP15 to save 15%.)
For details about this event see our article about Vancouver Boat Parties.
CelticFest in the Past
Years ago CelticFest was a large festival that featured a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a Celtic Village and various other events.
2017 was the first in several years that there was no St. Patrick’s Day Parade during Vancouver’s CelticFest festival, and there hasn’t been one since. Nor has there been a Celtic Village.
Although running over a longer period of time than in years prior to 2018, in 2019 CelticFest was again a scaled-back version of what it had been in previous years, and even more scaled-back from what it was in earlier years when it included the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
CelticFest was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19. In 2021, most festivities took place online. CelticFest returned with in-person events in 2022, and is back again in 2023.
To learn more about the festival, check out the official CelticFest website or click St. Patrick’s Day in Vancouver.
For more information about the St. Patrick’s Weekend Street Party from a few years ago at Robson Square, click Celtic Village 2017.
For more ideas on what to do with the family in mid-March, check out Top Free Spring Things to Do with Children.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Irish Bars & Pubs in Vancouver
- Vancouver March Calendar
- Free Vancouver Events in March
- Spring Break in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver Festivals and Events
- History and Culture in Vancouver
- Lower Mainland Restaurants
- Vancouver Bars and Nightclubs