Thousands celebrate St. Patrick's Day at 4th annual Guinness SPD

The Devil’s Drink and In Living Cover playing some great, authentic Irish tunes; free pancakes for all; Irish dancers and lots of green are among the attractions at Saturday’s fourth annual Guinness SPD.

Organizers describe event as Canada’s largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration

Organizers of Saturday’s fourth annual Guinness SPD say they expect thousands to take part in the event throughout the day. (Paul Smith/CBC)

With St. Patrick's Day falling on Saturday this year, it was the perfect opportunity for friends and family to come together to celebrate Irish heritage.

The fourth annual Guinness SPD, hosted by Rebel nightclub, was one of several events held across the city today.

One of the organizers said the event came to be because Toronto didn't already have a big St. Patrick's Day party.

"It's really a day about bringing everybody together in the true spirit of St. Paddy's Day and having a great time," James Blackburn, co-founder of Guinness SPD, told CBC Toronto.

James Blackburn, co-founder of Guinness SPD, says the event came to be because Toronto didn't have a big St. Patrick's Day party. (Paul Smith/CBC)

The all-day celebration showcases authentic Irish dancers and fiddlers. It also features performances from folk bands like In Living Cover and The Devil's Drink. 

"We bring a lot of authentic touches with music, dancers, free pancakes, and then we also bring in some of Toronto's best DJs so there's multiple sounds for all tastes," Blackburn said.

"It's great to have March 17th fall on a Saturday, and we're looking at somewhere between 6,500 and 7,000 [people] through the course of the day," he added.