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St. Paddy’s event offers family fun, Irish authenticity

Reagan DeBusk will bring his Irish flute with the band Sigean for the Jonesborough event. (Photo by Bill W. Bryant)


Staff Writer

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Get your green on because St. Paddy’s Day is back in Jonesborough.

This year’s St. Paddy’s Celebration on Saturday, March 14, is set to offer St. Patrick Day-themed activities that aren’t just geared towards adults. This event, Jonesborough Tourism and Main Street Director Cameo Waters said, was designed to offer something for everyone.

“There’s really nowhere for families to go celebrate St. Paddy’s Day,” Waters said. “It’s typically targeted towards one audience. Jonesborough wanted to change that and create an atmosphere for visitors of all ages to join in on the festivities and celebrate a little bit of Celtic heritage.”

That heritage will take center stage when the Celtic band, Sigean, brings its Irish music blended with blues, rock and bluegrass. The band includes guitars, banjos, fiddles, an upright bass, an Irish drum, flutes and whistles and even an Irish step dancer.

“Having a live band during our St. Paddy’s celebrations has been an integral part of the event from the start,” Waters said. “As far as it goes for this year, we’re thrilled to have Sigean in Jonesborough. When their seven-member band hits the stage they fuel an audience with their traditional Irish music.”

Music won’t be the only way to experience traditional Irish culture.

The Appalachian Highlands Celts will bring the Highland Games, a physical event that honors Scottish and Celtic culture, to Storytelling Park. The games include the stone throw, weight over bar, archery and spear throwing, which will all be demonstrated by the Appalachian Highlands Celts.

Event-goers can try their hand at the Highland Games with instruction from the Appalachian Highlands Celts. (Photo contributed)

“We decided to include additional activities this year to emphasize Celtic heritage,” Waters said. “One way we’ve done this is through the Highland Games. That’s a big part of their culture and getting to see it first hand as well as trying it for yourself is one of the best ways to experience Celtic heritage. We’re fortunate to partner with The Appalachian Highland Celts during our St. Paddy’s Celebration. They will demo Highland Athletics and will even welcome visitors to try their hand at it while showing them proper technique and safety precautions.”

During Shamrockin’ on the Plaza, event goers can get a taste of Celtic culture with Main Street Cafe and Catering’s special St. Paddy’s menu of bangers and mash with onion gravy and beef stew. Tennessee Hills Distillery will also offer drinks with the proceeds going towards the Appalachian Highlands Humane Society.

An array of Celtic food will be offered at the Storytelling Plaza. (Photo contributed)

For those wanting to run off that bangers and mash, the event will also offer the annual Paddy’s Dash: Brew Fun Run at 3 p.m. The run will begin at the Storytelling Center and down to Depot Street Brewing for a free small pour of beer or root beer, then back to the Storytelling Center. The run is free and offered for all ages. Participants are welcome to walk or run the route.

There will also be a rock hunt throughout downtown which could score you a St. Paddy’s surprise from the town.

Guests are invited to wear their best Celtic getups, kilts, or even just green attire in honor of the national holiday. But above all, Waters said, the town is ready to share its history of welcoming all guests to celebrate in Tennessee’s oldest town.

“I think people are drawn to events here because they illuminate the warm and welcome small town charm that is Jonesborough,” Waters said. “Families know it’s a safe environment for their entire family and it’s a space where they can create memories. We’re a community that truly embraces each and every visitor. There’s really nowhere like Jonesborough.”

For more information about Jonesborough’s St. Paddy’s Celebration, please visit or call (423) 753-1010.