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. For details about CelticFest in 2019, see below.
CelticFest St. Patrick’s Celebrations
In 2019 CelticFest runs from Sunday, February 22nd, until Saturday, March 17th.
2017 was the first in several years that there was no St. Patrick’s Day parade during Vancouver’s CelticFest festival. It looks like it’ll be the same again in 2019.
There was still the annual Celtic Village in 2017, however, although in a new location. There was also the usual selection of live entertainment offerings, Irish dinners and St. Patrick’s events at various pubs and restaurants around town. 2018 was similar but with no Celtic Village and fewer activities, and 2019 will again be the same.
Although running over a longer period of time than in years prior to 2018, in 2019 Celticfest will again be a scaled-back version of what it was 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.
Last year Celticfest had about one concert in late February and then four other music-related events on March 15th to 17th in the lead up to St. Patrick’s Day.
In 2019 there is an Irish-themed play running from February 22nd until March 16th, an “Irish in Vancouver’s Got TALENT” event on February 23rd, and the annual Ceilidh event on March 16th. Similar to previous years, there are also two concerts by the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir on the St. Patrick’s Day weekend (so March 16th and 17th in 2019).
2019 Celtic Festival Schedule
The following are festival events scheduled for CelticFest in 2019:
- Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 –an “Irish in Vancouver’s Got TALENT” night at Vancouver’s St. Mary’s Ukrainian Cultural Centre at 3150 Ash Street starting at 7 pm. Tickets cost about $20.
- February 22nd until March 16th, 2019 – Changed Utterly is a play at the Jericho Arts Centre at 1675 Discovery Street in Vancouver. The story is about Constance Markievicz who was an Irish socialist, revolutionary and suffragette who became the first woman MP in the British Parliament and first female to become a European cabinet minister.
- Saturday, March 16th, 2019 – CelticFest Ceilidh takes place at the Scottish Cultural Centre at 8886 Hudson Street each year. The night of Celtic performances is arguably the main event for Celticfest and tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. Children ages 12 and under are free. Featured performers in 2019 (and other recent years too) include the Celtic folk band Blackthorn as well as the BC Regiment of Irish Pipes & Drums and the Eire Born Irish Dance Company.
- Friday, March 16th, 2019 – the all-male Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir perform a couple of concerts on the St. Patrick’s Day weekend during Celticfest each year. In 2019 the first one takes place at Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral at 690 Burrard Street. Tickets cost between about $27 and $40.
- Saturday, March 17th, 2019 – the all-male Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir performs a second St. Patrick’s Day concert and this time at the ACT Theatre at 11944 Haney Place in Maple Ridge.
Vancouver’s Celtic Village (in 2017)
In past years, along with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the main event during Celticfest was the Celtic Village (which didn’t take place in 2018 and won’t be happening in 2019 either, unless plans change).
In years prior to 2017 (which was its final year) the Celtic Village took place between Robson Street and Nelson along Granville Street. In 2017, however, it took place at Robson Square and in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s South Plaza at Robson Street and Howe.
At the Celtic Village in past years there was live music, dancing, food vendors and all sorts of street market stalls and things to see. It was also free (unless you arrived after 7 pm in which case there was a $10 fee).
For more information on the weekend event in past years, click Celtic Village.
CelticFest at the Blarney Stone
Also during CelticFest in past years a number of events have taken place at The Blarney Stone which is an Irish pub located at 216 Carrall Street in Gastown. In 2019 events will again be taking place at the Blarney Stone, but not officially as part of Celticfest.
St. Patrick’s Day-themed events at the Blarney Stone in 2019 include the following:
- Tuesday, March 12th (2019) – the Jameson Dinner is a Blarney Stone St. Paddy’s Festival event featuring a 3-course dinner with live music and whiskey pairings from 6 until 8 pm. Tickets cost $25.
- Friday, March 15th (2019) – Irish Appreciation Night features an hour of complimentary appetizers, two hours of Irish beverage sampling and live music between 6 and 8 pm. Admission is free with advanced registration.
- Saturday, March 16th (2019) – the St. Paddy’s Festival Weekend Party runs from 11 am until 3 am and includes live music, DJ music, Celtic dancing, stilt walking, Hula Hooping and other fun activities.
- Sunday, March 17th (2019) – the St. Paddy’s Festival Weekend Party usually runs on just one day, on St. Patrick’s Day, but in 2019 it goes for two days, but today from 10 am until 2 am (so an hour earlier than on the Saturday). Again the event includes live music, DJ music, Celtic dancing, stilt walking, Hula Hooping and other fun activities. Today’s event also features a buffet brunch for $25 for folk arriving before 11 am or $35 for people entering between 11 am and 2 pm. Also on this day minors are permitted up until 5 pm when accompanied by their legal guardian.
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.