International artists kick off weekend celebration with Friday performance

An internationally known Irish music group kicks off the St. Patrick’s weekend with a Friday night concert in Lexington ahead of the 40th Annual Alltech St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival.

Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones bring the best of Irish music to McCarthy’s Irish Bar on Friday, March 15 at 8 p.m.  The special performance kicks off the 40th anniversary weekend of Lexington’s St. Patrick’s weekend.  Tickets are $20 and are on sale now at Failte Irish Imports or online through Eventbrite.

On Saturday, March 16, eight performance groups take the stage as the Lexington St. Patrick’s Festival returns to the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza in downtown Lexington. It’s part of an all-day celebration that begins at 8 a.m. with the Shamrock Shuffle to benefit Lexington Habitat for Humanity.  The festival kicks off with the annual “Blessing of the Keg” will be held at the Alltech tents at 10:45 a.m. 

“From the Irish dancers, to the Scottish pipers, to the Irish music bands from around Kentucky, our free, family-friendly festival is a great opportunity to see some of Central Kentucky’s best traditional Irish performers,” said Liza Hendley Betz, vice president of the Bluegrass Irish Society and festival chair and owner of Failte Irish Imports.

The 40th annual Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival is produced by Lexington Parks and Recreation and is sponsored by the Bluegrass Irish Society.

Applications for parade participants are being accepted through March 1 and can be found online at

Keep up with the parade and festival on social media — @LexStPatsParade on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Parade participants and attendees are encouraged to share their photos online, tag @LexStPatsParade and use #LexStPats2019. 

40th Annual Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s Festival

10:45 a.m. Blessing of the Keg at the Alltech Kentucky Ale tents
11:15 a.m. Bluegrass Ceili Academy
12 p.m.   The Bold Roberts
1 p.m. 40th Annual Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Parade
2 p.m. William Sutherland Reid Pipes & Drums
2:30 p.m. Liam’s Fancy
3:30 p.m. Lexington Irish Dancers
4 p.m. Kentucky United Pipes & Drums
4:30 p.m. Kentucky McTeggart Irish Dancers
5 p.m. Set Course
Performers announced for 40th annual Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival