Omaha – a city about a quarter Irish, with historical roots stretching back to the 1850s – holds St. Patrick’s Day close to its heart. After all, March is officially Irish-American Heritage Month, and Omaha prefers equal parts spontaneity and tradition when celebrating this cultural event.
But here is one list of ten options that can help you get straight to the fun and many traditions held nearby. Half take place ON the holiday, while the rest occur throughout the entire Heritage Month.
Make the most of St. Patrick’s – get in touch with all the city offers in its Irish cheer!
Embrace family-friendly AOH festivities
- The Hooley Party: March 6 |Sts. Peter Paul Parish Hall | 5912 S 36th St | Noon to 6 p.m. | $5-40
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 12 |15th and Harney St. to 14th and Howard st. | 10 a.m. | Free
While many Americans consider St. Patrick’s Day an adult holiday, this and several Irish-American Heritage Month celebrations are family inclusive. These include two major events sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
The Ladies AOH Omaha chapter will host the annual Hooley Party in the new location at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Hall. It’s a fundraiser for that division of the organization, featuring delicious Irish food, beverages, and live entertainment – all of which make it fun and easy to participate.
And the AOH Father Flannigan Divison throws the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, of course, which marks its 150th year celebrated in Omaha – wow! It starts at 10 a.m. and runs from 15th and Harney St. continuing down 11th St., finally finishing at 14th and Howard St.
Catch Gaelic Storm at Barnato
- March 6 | 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. | $35 (21+)
- Barnato: 225 N 170th St Suite 95 | (402) 964-2021
There are a ton of great music events happening this month, but little can compare to this. If you enjoy top-notch Irish music and in a casual exquisite setting, catch Gaelic Storm at Barnato on March 6.
Gaelic Storm has become the quintessential Irish pub band. One must only look at their track record, which documents well over two decades’ worth of touring on a national and international level for the Irish band who performed in the 1997 movie Titanic – when the ship was still above water.
On the face, the music represents bluegrass, country, rock, and traditional Celtic. But in a way, it’s simply music you feel. Gaelic Storm is easy to love for a generous spectrum of listeners, especially in an intimate animated live setting where the drinks are flowing. It’s a no-brainer to catch the group at Barnato!
See Ellis Island at The Dubliner Pub
- March 12 | Noon to 4 p.m. | Free admission
- The Dubliner: 1205 Harney St | (402) 342-5887
One Irish bar has become a vital source for St. Patrick’s Day entertainment. That is, of course, thanks to the Dubliner Pub, which has played an active part in facilitating drinking and musical festivities in-house, many times attributed to an Irish theme, for special events, and on a year-round basis.
This year, a band entitled Ellis Island is the primary musical attraction, performing directly after the AOH parade. One half of the duo is a former World Champion Kickboxer twice over from Ireland – the other a mental health therapist from Nebraska – but both bonded over a love for Irish music.
The group fuels its musical output with a litany of decidedly non-conventional instruments. You can expect to see some or even all of the twelve instruments these musicians play.
Run a 5k before or after St. Patrick’s Day
- Shamrock Shuffle: March 12 | The 100 Block, Council Bluffs | 10 a.m. to noon | $7-$35
- Blarney 5k: March 19 | 151 Freedom Park Rd | 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. | $48.95
You would be surprised to know how many high-octane races occur each year, centered around the Irish holiday. Fitness and St. Patrick’s Day go hand in hand! Two specifically stand out, both held on different days – The Shamrock Shuffle and The Blarney 5k.
The Shamrock Shuffle takes place just over the bridge in Council Bluffs, and it’s become a nationally certified 5k race after starting in 2012. It always starts and ends right – with live music and food – as participants run along the historic 100 Block district.
The Omaha Blarney Stone 5k is much closer and a bit more straightforward. It makes for an exhilarating and scenic run along the Missouri River while utilizing the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in its course.
Party at Glacial Till Winery
- March 12 | 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. | Free admission
- Glacial Till Vineyard and Winery: 344 S 2nd Rd, Palmyra| (402) 610-3068
If you want to drive out to a fine winery in Palmyre, Glacial Till is hosting a soiree for all St. Patrick’s enthusiasts on the Saturday before the official holiday, March 12. It costs nothing to attend, so you can put your hard-earned cash towards choice wine and food.
You can expect acoustic music from Tom and Wes, who play your favorite hits from the 1970s. And The Gilded Swine has corned beef and cabbage, brisket, beef chuck, Guinness Irish Soda Bread, and much more while the food lasts.
Travel to the 2022 O’Neill Festival
- March 16-20 | 125 S. 4th Street, O’Neill, NE
O’Neill, Nebraska – it might not be widely known, but the town is beloved for its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It is, after all, Nebraska’s Irish capital, and its population doubles from 4,000 to 8,000 each year as the festivities ensue.
The town got named after John O’Neill, who was one of the city’s founders, among other Irish settlers, in 1874. Today, O’Neill is also known for its giant – indeed, the world’s largest – green shamrock, painted in 1964 and located smack-dab in the center of town, between Highways 20 and 281.
From Wednesday, March 16 to Sunday, March 20, O’Neill will come alive with a wide array of festivities – zoom in on the impressive list here. But essentially, you can expect a ton of fun games, $2 green beer, excellent food, dancing, sports, music, and more.
Celebrate at Therapy Bar & Grill
- March 17 | 11 a.m. till close | Free admission
- Therapy Bar & Grill: 5059 S 108th St | (402) 933-3669
If you’re looking for an all-day St. Patrick’s Day event with lots of music and drinks throughout, head to Therapy Bar & Grill. The bar even opens at 11 a.m. – which means you can start the celebration early.
At 2 p.m., the band Almost Good plays a three-hour set, followed by The Replicants from 6 p.m. till 10 p.m. At 7 p.m., there will even be a break to include a bagpipe-supported birthday celebration.
There will be drink specials, delicious food, and green beer to keep you happy all night long. It just might be the ultimate holiday experience, while the lack of a cover charge at the door offers a straight and narrow way to keep the night outright affordable.
Enjoy music and storytelling with John Morrisey
- March 17-19 | 7:30 p.m. shows, doors at 6:45 p.m. | $25
- Rave On Productions Studio: 8708 Countryside Plaza
It’s a night filled with Irish stories and songs at the Extravaganza with John Morrisey. The three-night event will take place at the recently established venue for Rave On Productions, whose Omaha Series is dedicated to producing excellent live and local musical entertainment.
Performers Katherine Turner (piano) and Anita Jaynes (harp) will accompany the singing and storytelling man of the hour, with classics like “Danny Boy” and “My Wild Irish Rose,” to name a few. Morrisey’s repertoire is impressive, having performed locally on most stages in huge musical roles like Don Quixote and Sweeny Todd.
You can purchase beer and wine for the performance beforehand. Reservations are required with limited seating left, and masks are required when not immediately drinking.
Spend St. Patrick’s Day with Logan Mize
- March 17 | 8 p.m. | $30
- Waiting Room: 6212 Maple St | (402) 884-5353
If hearing some high-quality country music sounds like your idea of a good time, get tickets to the Waiting Room on St. Patrick’s Day. Logan Mize, a solo artist from Kansas, will provide the tunes to help you celebrate how you want.
Mize has released five proper studio albums since 2009, the last two released in 2021 – an ambitious effort by any artist in today’s musical landscape. And the singer-songwriter is capitalizing off that momentum with a full selection of dates that culminate in one performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
And Waiting Room will be a choice spot for this event, as the bar will be well ready to handle practitioners in the Irish celebration. Get some affordable drinks, buy merch, and celebrate responsibly.
Party all day at Two Fine Irishmen
- March 17 | 11 a.m. till close | Free admission
- Two Fine Irishmen: 18101 R Plaza | (402) 933-3990
If you want to stay in West Omaha, one shindig you must consider is the party at Two Fine Irishmen on St. Patrick’s Day. There will be live musical entertainment, food/drink specials, and a crowd of friendly faces to help you celebrate in a casual atmosphere.
Two Fine Irishmen is known for being one of the best Irish bars in West Omaha and not for nothing. The kitchen cooks up delicious meals on the regular – from savory comfort food to Lent specials – and you can expect an Irish-themed menu that will do wonders for your taste buds as you drink down a delicious pint of green beer.
Lemon Fresh Day is the headlining band set to take the stage at 5:30 p.m. And earlier in the day, pipes and drums will kick everything off.