News Release: St. Patrick kicks off Irish Week at Lake Union Park

News Release

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

St. Patrick kicks off Irish Week with Friday boat arrival at Lake Union Park

SOUTH LAKE UNION – South Lake Union is getting its green on this Friday as St. Patrick, the 1,500-year-old patron saint of Ireland, makes his Seattle arrival by boat in Lake Union Park for a 6 p.m. ceremony kicking off Irish Week in the Emerald City.

Ushering in the city’s Irish Week celebrations, the green-robed cleric along with Galway, Ireland Mayor Frank Fahy, who is in Seattle for Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, will be welcomed by community leaders adorned in formal top hats and tails.

The made for TV and photo shenanigans, remindful of Punxsutawney Phil’s photogenic prognostications, includes a dramatic proclamation reading and handoff to the Seafair Pirates, who will escort the patron saint to the evening’s green stripe painting along Fourth Ave.

“St. Patrick is the most emerald of saints and it’s only fitting that his arrival in Seattle and South Lake Union be by boat and in the good company of pirates,” said John Keane, Honorary Counsel to Ireland and Seattle’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade coordinator.

St. Patrick’s arrival by water takes place on board the emerald-green-decked, 42-foot classic Lake Union Dreamboat “Orba” skippered by Steve Moen, who is of Irish descent.

The proclamation reading recounts the legend of St. Patrick’s fifth-century capture and enslavement by Irish pirates, ridding the Emerald Isle of snakes and, of course, a welcome to the Emerald City.

Following the South Lake Union event, Patrick will be whisked away by the buccaneers to paint a green strip along Fourth Ave. marking the route of Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The decades-old “Laying O’ The Green” street painting gets underway at 7 p.m. at Fourth Ave. and Jefferson Street, just south of the entrance to the King County Administration Building.

Public Seattle Irish Week events include, Annual Mass for Peace at the Plymouth Congregational Church (Friday, March 11, 10 a.m.), Mayor's Proclamation Lunch at F.X. McRory's in Pioneer Square (Friday, March 11, 12 noon), South Lake Union Arrival of St. Patrick, Lake Union Park (Friday, March 11, 6 p.m.), Laying O' The Green along Fourth Ave. (Friday, March 11, 7 p.m., meet Fourth and Jefferson Streets), Festal Irish Week Festival at the Seattle Center Armory (Saturday, March 12, 12 noon – 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 13 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Seattle St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown along Fourth Ave. (Saturday, March 12 - 12:20 p.m. Start from Fourth and Jefferson to Westlake Ave.), St. Patrick's Day! (Thursday, March 17, All day!). 

To learn more, read Seattle's official Irish Week program at:

WHAT:  St. Patrick’s Arrival in South Lake Union to Kick-Off Irish Week

WHEN:  Friday, March 11 (6 p.m.)

WHERE: Lake Union Park (public pier) – 860 Terry Ave. North, Seattle, WA98109

WHO:  St. Patrick, Galway, Ireland Mayor Frank Fahy, Honorary Consul to Ireland in Seattle, John Keane, Seattle Pirates, South Lake Union Community Council President, Mike McQuaid and board member Matthew Curry, South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce Board Member Chaz Rowlan.

WHY:  Irish Week Kick-off with St. Patrick -- South Lake Union civic leaders welcome St. Patrick to Seattle

MEDIA PARKING:  Valley Street public parking at Lake Union Park.

Photo Caption: St. Patrick, the 1,500-year-old patron saint of Ireland (back right) is joined by then Galway, Ireland, mayor Donal Lyons (back left) and Olympic boxer Queen Underwood at the 2015 South Lake Union event welcoming the emerald-robed cleric to Seattle kicking off the city’s Irish Week celebration.  In the foreground, South Lake Union Community Council president Mike McQuaid (left) and board member Matthew Curry read the welcoming proclamation.

Credit:  Irish Heritage Club

#   #   #

Media Contacts Only

Mike McQuaid

President, South Lake Union Community Council



John Keane

Honorary Irish Consul in Seattle & Seattle St. Patrick’s Day Parade Coordinator

206.387.1970 (Day-Of-Event Contact)