This month, the luck of the Irish comes to Texas! In honor of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, here’s your guide to all things Irish in Texas — so grab a pint of green beer and read on to discover more about Irish heritage in the Lone Star State.
Ireland, TX — No, you won’t find any magical leprechauns in here…in fact, you won’t find much of anything in this ghost town named after a Texas governor. It was once a railroad boom town, but once its railroad was abandoned so was most of the town.
Lubbock, TX — Who knew a piece of Ireland could be found at Texas Tech? According to a campus legend dating back to the 1930s, some engineers unearthed part of the magical Irish rock that grants eloquent speech — the Blarney Stone — on a field trip. The rock fragment now sits on Tech’s campus, granting each senior who kisses it the gift of great speech.
Shamrock, TX — Head to the Panhandle, along Route 66, for a St. Patty’s Day celebration unlike any other that’s been a Shamrock tradition since the 1930s. In 2013, Shamrock’s celebration was named the Official St. Patrick’s Day Celebration for the State of Texas! While you’re there, check out the Blarney Stone Plaza to see fragments from the real Blarney Stone and the iconic U-Drop Inn.
San Patricio and Refugio, TX — These towns near Corpus Christi are the first Irish settlements in Texas, settled in the early 1800s. In fact, San Patricio was originally called San Patricio de Hibernia (or the “Saint Patrick of Ireland.”)
Dublin, TX – This Irish-named town near Stephenville is actually the location for truly significant Texas history — Dublin Bottling Works is where our beloved Dr Pepper was first bottled! Take a tour of the factory to see where the legend had part of its beginnings.
San Antonio’s “River Shannon” — During St. Patrick’s Day, the San Antonio Riverwalk becomes the “River Shannon” when the famous waterway is dyed green on March 16 as bagpipers play from the boats.
North Texas Irish Festival – Break out your kilt and head to this Celtic Festival that’s been bringing Irish fun to Dallas since 1983! On March 2-4, Fair Park comes alive with live Irish music, Irish set dancers, whiskey tastings, DeLorean exhibits and more.
Houston St. Patrick’s Day Festival – In Houston, you’ll find one of the largest Irish parades in the nation! The free two-hour parade is hosted on St. Patrick’s Day and features Irish groups from around the area and handmade floats. And as if that wasn’t cool enough, this year’s theme is “Houston Strong. Irish Proud.” Check it out!
Find out what happened to Chet when he kissed the Blarney Stone on the Texas Tech Campus in the clip below.