25 Things You Should Know About the Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival
In celebration of the 25th Annual Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival in 2016, we're highlighting 25 things you should know about the event. As you probably already do know, this is a BIG event here in Emerald Isle and on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina—treasured by both visitors and residents alike.
The 2016 Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival on Saturday, March 12 is fast approaching, so mark your calendars and make your plans to join in the family-friendly fun. The festival runs from 9a.m. to 6p.m. at Emerald Plantation Shopping Center. Start celebrating the 25th annual event early on Friday with rides and live music (read on for more details).
Now, on to the list!
25 things you should know about the Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival
1. Before we talk about the St. Patrick's Festival itself—with the namesake Emerald Isle, you may be wondering how much our island has to do with St. Patrick's Day in the first place.
Read up on the origins of the name of Emerald Isle to learn more about our island's fascinating history. You'll also find out how it got its name!
2. As luck would have it, admission is free.
No extra green needed in that area.
3. While we're talking about free, so is the parking.
Save those coins for the pot at the end of the rainbow.
4. This is the town of Emerald Isle's signature annual event.
The festival gets bigger, better and greener every year. Mark your calendars!
5. If this is your first time or you're vacationing with us and unfamiliar with the area, here is where the festival is located.
Click here for the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center location courtesy of Google Maps.
6. Pre-festival fun begins on Friday, March 11.
The rides open from 5-10p.m. and a performance by Hip Pocket is slated for 6:30p.m. It's the perfect way to get into the festival spirit. No alcohol sales are happening this night, but unlimited rides are offered for a discounted price. It's worth checking out!
7. You should dress in your St. Paddy's Day best.
This event is festive and fun—dress accordingly. Hint: Wear green and add lots of sparkle. Gold is a nice accent color.
8. Enjoy an Irish-American tradition by ordering the corned beef and cabbage paired with a beer.
Of course there are many other festival foods to choose from including shrimp burgers, hamburgers and hot dogs, Mediterranean cuisine, BBQ, funnel cakes, fried peanuts, cotton candy and so much more. Come hungry!
9. Speaking of beer, be sure to stop by the Beer Garden.
The Beer Garden is open from 10a.m. to 5p.m. Come thirsty! Of course, you need to be 21 or older and have your ID.
10. The festival hosts over 75 arts and crafts vendors.
Bring some spending money! You'll find lots of great gift ideas and unique coastal treasures.
11. The St. Patrick's Festival is famed for its family-friendly fun.
With a petting zoo, amusement rides, clowns, kid-friendly booths, face painting and more, it's a local favorite for the kids and kids-at-heart.
12. If you have kids ages 5 and under, check out the Little Ms. & Mr. Leprechaun Contest.
Dress them up in their St. Paddy's Day finest for the contest on the main stage at 9a.m. Pre-registration is required by March 10 at noon and space is limited to only 20 contestants, so don't delay. Follow this link to learn more and register for the Little Ms. & Mr. Leprechaun Contest.
13. The Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival has a jam-packed performance schedule.
With live entertainment on two stages, you'll enjoy the sights and sounds of the festival entertainment. Click here for the 25th Annual EI St. Patrick's Festival entertainment schedule. You can't go wrong with either the Gold or Emerald stage performances.
14. In other entertainment news, Port City Pipes and Drums are on parade throughout the day.
It's an upbeat performance, literally and figuratively!
15. Sorry, no pets are allowed at the festival.
This is for your pet's safety! It's a busy festival and not best suited for your four-legged friends. Bring home some corned beef and cabbage and they'll forgive you.
16. Strollers are allowed at the Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival, except in the main tent area.
If you plan to bring and use a stroller, the town asks that you be aware of your surroundings and mindful of the high-traffic areas as much as possible, and of course, to be courteous of others.
17. Please leave your firearms at home.
They are not permitted at the festival. This includes both concealed and open carry.
18. You too can be an Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival sponsor.
Sponsorship for the festival is available to individuals, groups and businesses at various levels including Over the Rainbow, Shamrock and Leprechaun. To learn more, click here for the sponsorship form.
19. NASCAR fans also enjoy a special treat – the Transportation Impact No. 43 Ford Fusion participates in the Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Festival fun.
Locally-owned, Transportation Impact made its NASCAR debut at the Pocono 400 in June of 2012 and maintains an associate sponsorship with Richard Petty Motorsports.
20. You can get a bird's eye view of the Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Day Festival.
Click here for the Festival Map. Learn more about where to park and how to get where you want to go.
21. Crowds in excess of 20,000 people are expected for the 25th annual event.
We told you it's kind of a big deal around here. It's sure to be a St. Patrick's Festival to be remembered on the Crystal Coast. Don't miss out on a piece of Emerald Isle history in the making. Be there!
22. You can thank the local sponsors for hosting such an amazing event.
They'd appreciate your feedback.
23. Local TV station WITN is a festival sponsor.
Stop by and say hello to WITN's Dave Jordan, who'll be at the festival this year.
24. The Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival is probably the most well-known event hosted by our town.
There's a reason for that! If you haven't ever attended, you should get your family and friends together and make a day of it. You won't be disappointed.
25. A little leprechaun told us about this video clip from last year's Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival.
Watch it! Get inspired! See you there.
Are you going to the 25th Annual St. Patrick's Festival in Emerald Isle? Happy St. Patrick's Day!