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The Best 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Events in the Albuquerque Area


Albuquerque has plenty to do on St. Patrick’s Day! With Irish parties, road races, fundraisers, and even a hot air balloon event to attend, you certainly won’t run out of excitement on March 17. Here’s a look at some of 2018’s best family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Events near Albuquerque, NM.

The Best 2018 St. Patrick's Day Events in the Albuquerque Area

ShamRock Fest

This year, the City of Albuquerque will host its fourth annual ShamRock Fest at the Balloon Museum. The event is very family-friendly, featuring lots of live Irish music and dancing, face painting, arts and crafts activities, poetry recitals by Celtic authors, and tons of food and drinks to consume. The ShamRock Fest also features a “ShamRock and Roll” five-kilometer road race, a one-kilometer “fun run” for children, and a very silly “All Fun, No Run Zero K” race.

Tickets cost $6 in advance or $10 at the gates, with proceeds from the event benefiting both the Albuquerque Balloon Museum Foundation and the High Desert Pipes and Drums band. More information is available on the city’s website.

Shamrock Shuffle Road Races

The group Run Fit hosts many races around the region, including its annual St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shuffle. This event includes not one, but four races for every level of runner: the longest is ten miles, with ten- and five-kilometer courses for intermediate runners, and a 1k race for the kiddos. All the races begin and end at the Rio Rancho Aquatic Center in northern Albuquerque.

Runners should register ahead of time, using the form available on, and be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before their race starts.

Irish-American Society of New Mexico’s Annual Party

The Irish-American Society’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party offers a variety of authentic Irish entertainment and cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere. This year, their celebration will feature music from the Celtic band Saoirse, the acoustic duo Jim Brauer and Derek Swinson, and the Fire and Police Pipe and Drum Corps. A lively performance by Irish Stepdancers should entertain everyone, and an optional corned beef and cabbage dinner is a fitting conclusion to a festive St. Paddy’s Day.

To avoid wasting food, the society requests that guests purchase a $10 meal ticket by March 7. Guests planning to simply enjoy the entertainment can purchase a ticket on the day of the event. The St. Patrick’s Day party is the largest event that the group organizes, but they work all year to promote Celtic music and serve the local Irish community. To learn more about this great Albuquerque St. Patrick’s Day event, visit their site.

Hot Air Balloon Rally

The Valencia Flying and Retrieval Society hosts the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Hot Air Balloon Rally. The event is held in Belen, NM, approximately 35 miles south of Albuquerque, and typically lasts for the entire holiday weekend so long as the weather is appropriate for ballooning.

Although the society hasn’t yet scheduled a precise date and location for this year’s festivities, they encourage both balloon pilots and admirers to check for more details and pictures from previous years’ events.

St. Baldrick’s 24-Hour Shave-a-Thon Fundraiser

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a nonprofit group that raises money for cancer research—in fact, they’re the most successful cancer-fundraising charity in the world, funding more research than any other nonprofit organization. This year’s 24-Hour Shave-a-Thon is looking for heads to shave as the group seeks to meet their goal of $1000 donations. The shaving is partially to amuse those who’ve donated, but more importantly to demonstrate solidarity with cancer patients.

Their 24-Hour Shave-a-Thon fundraiser will be held at IHS Markit in Albuquerque on March 15. Contribute some funds or donate your own locks by visiting

Of course, the best way to travel to all these ABQ St. Paddy’s Day events is in a new car. At Melloy Nissan, you’ll find a great assortment of new Nissan models and affordable used cars to get you there and back. Just be sure to celebrate responsibly! Contact our Albuquerque Nissan dealership at (505) 545-6420 to schedule a test drive before March 17.


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