New details for Shamrock the Block, Shockoe bars form new Shamrock event

Are you a Shamrock the BLOCK kind of person? Or a Shamrock the BOTTOM kind of person?

Update #1 — February 20, 2014; 7:13 AM is reporting that this year’s Shamrock the Block festival, which for the first time in 10 years will not be held in Shockoe Bottom (see below), will be held on the Boulevard between W. Leigh Street near Movieland to Myers Street near En Su Boca.

Organizers of the festival are hoping to offer parking at The Diamond and free trolleys to the festival, scheduled for Saturday, March 15th.

The Boulevard will serve as host to its second major festival in recent months. Last October’s Pumpkin Festival brought upwards of 13,000 people. Previous Shamrock the Blocks have brought at least double that amount.

But Shockoe bars aren’t folding up their four-leafed clovers just yet. Several have banded together to form a new shamrock event called Shamrock the Bottom also on March 15th.

From Shamrock the Bottom’s Facebook:

We have created this event due to the blatant disregard for the roots and backbone of “Shamrock the Block!” We as restauranteurs will team up as a “band of bars” on Saturday March 15th to create an amazing and safe experience for all patrons in the form of the largest barcrawl to ever grace the streets of Richmond!

More details about the Shamrock the Bottom are expected soon.

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Original — February 17, 2014

Last year was a rough year for Shamrock the Block. There was a tussle between Richmond’s finest and Richmond’s drunkest and severe overcrowding. To address the crowding issue, organizers Three One One Productions have decided to move out of Shockoe Bottom and onto the Boulevard.

From the official Shamrock the Block Website:

Shamrock The Block has a new home! The 11th Annual Shamrock The Block will take place on the Boulevard off Broad Street on Saturday, March 15th beginning at 11am. We’re moving to a larger area with more space, better parking and more BLOCK TO ROCK!!

Shamrock The Block is FREE to attend, with great food, live music all day and plenty o’ green beverages for you to enjoy safely, so bring a designated driver. Last year, more than 30,000 people poured into the FIRST OUTDOOR EVENT of the season. With the move to the Boulevard, we’ve expanded the kid’s activities, the band lineup and have more things to do and see. We have the drinks, the music and the fun.

All you have to do….is SHOW UP ON THE BOULEVARD!

And in a statement about the new location, director of production for Three One One Productions, Micki Long, said:

After careful and thoughtful planning sessions, it was determined that the festival has gotten too large for the area surrounding the 17th Street Farmers Market. Out of respect for the businesses, our neighbors in Shockoe Bottom and the safety of those attending, the decision was made to move to a larger, more accessible area of North Boulevard.

The event organizer’s decided on the new location after conferring with Richmond Police, Scott’s Addition Business Association, and others.

Shamrock the Block will be held on Saturday, March 15th beginning at 11:00 AM.

Photo by: Erin Soorenko

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Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Sid del Cardayre on said:

    Did you write this article without saying WHERE this is going to be? Where is the parking? ‘North Boulevard off Broad St.’ starts at Ellwood Ave and goes past The Diamond, right?

  2. Aaron H. on said:

    I’m pretty sure off Broad, means off Broad. Not down by Ellwood, or up by The Diamond. There are a couple of large parking lots on Boulevard, on the north side of Broad, so that’s probably where it’ll be.

  3. Aaron H. on said:

    Actually, looks like it might be in the Movieland Bowtie Cinema parking lot.

  4. Bobo del Calderon on said:

    Why not have it in the Stadium? You got parking, seating, places for vendors to set up. Maybe they don’t want that many people walking on the outfield grass. I heard the porno taco guys did most of the pushing behind it. People could still park in the stadium if it’s going to be at Boka.

  5. Thetazva on said:

    Hopefully there will be no issues with drunk rowdies this year. We don’t want this kind of atmosphere spilling into Northside.

  6. James on said:

    Overcrowding. Parking issues. And somebody wants to put the baseball stadium in the Bottom. RVA, you put a smile on my face.

  7. Morgan on said:

    First, if it were to be in the stadium, my guess is it would have to be a ticketed event. And the porno taco guys are not Boka. En Su Boca is the restaurant occupying the previously blighted adult book store. And so what if they had something to do with it? I’m sure local businesses were a part of the conversation; they say that they have the support of the Scott’s Addition Business Association, so yea. They most likely had something to do with it. Big whoop.

  8. so in other words, Bobo has no idea what he is talking about…God I love when people post comments on these sites just to sound in-the-know – so easily proved wrong.

  9. Its on the Boulevard, between Broad and the Bowtie Movies. Several festivals have been held there thus far, and its a great place- plenty of parking at the diamond ( a short walk across the bridge), local restaurants lining this stretch, much more open and spacious for people to walk around a bit more easily.

  10. And I, for one, am glad to see this moved from the Bottom. Too small for what it has become.

  11. Is Shamrock the Block dog friendly? The Richmond SPCA Dog Jog is the same day. One stop, two events if so.

  12. McGillicuddy on said:

    It’s a perfect solution for the event. Once the population exceeds a certain point, unintended consequences start to occur and the port-a-potty situation becomes grim. The thing was just too large to handle.

    The Bottom is still having their annual St. Patrick’s Day festival, but will be more focused on Irish culture, live bands, and everyone will have a lot more room. It’s being promoted by bars like Rosie’s, McCormick’s, and Sine’s.

    En Su Boca is a party bar and a more appropriate place for Shamrock the Block, which is more of a block party. And there will be beer trucks and bands there too. This will be for the more raucous element, and the large open area by itself will help prevent a lot of problems.

  13. Thetazva on said:

    Only if they get the appropriate permits to have the event, I know of at least 2 business’s that will not sign off on the event. Too many rowdies and drunk drivers after the event.

  14. Thetazrva, are you speaking of businesses in the Boulevard or the Bottom?

  15. thetazva on said:


    All business’s or residences on the blocks the event will be held on have to sign off on the permit application or they cannot get a permit to block the street.

  16. McGillicuddy on said:

    There’s no guarantee that Shockoe will get the permits for the bands in time, but I hope they do. The Boulevard development group and Three One One should have coordinated with the Bottom businesses instead of just leaving them in the lurch and letting them read about it in the paper. It’s just unprofessional. Some day Three One One is going to want to do business in the Bottom again, but I bet that it isn’t any day soon. Still, it’s possible it will work out to be better for everyone.

    The Shockoe Bottom event wants to be more venue-oriented and have fewer bros in green undies. The Boulevard is more for those guys, and it’s a great location for that kind of thing. Having two locations reduces the friction between groups that have a different idea of what the festival is for and reduces the scope of both, so they’ll be more fun for everyone. It would be classy for one or both events to crowdsource some designated driver volunteers to cut back on the drunk driving.

  17. Whatevs on said:

    The bottom had a bunch of bars with pretty quick drink service. What’s around the boulevard? I don’t know the area that well, and will probably pass the event when I saw “beer trucks”. Something about that beer gives me a headache. Plus we all know how they gouge the prices when it comes to beer trucks. I’ll be in the bottom.

    Also, just my 2 cents, but I don’t think they should use the name shamrock the block. That’s synonymous with downtown. Should call it something else.

  18. Follow the money$ on said:

    OK, Here’s a huge point: How come the bottom is big enough for a baseball stadium, (that, according to the developers, will benefit the shops in the bottom), but not big enough for shamrock the block? People, wake up, the bottom doesn’t need the stadium – in fact, it will destroy the bottom as we know and love it!!

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