Best Places to Go on Saint Patrick's Day

Best Places to Go on Saint Patrick's Day

While there may be 70 to 80 million Irish people across the globe, even if you don’t have Irish ancestry, they say everyone is at least a little bit Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. For a fun way to indulge it, celebrate the holiday in some of these top destinations. 

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston hosts the biggest Saint Patrick’s Day celebration outside of Ireland itself, with festivities dating back nearly 120 years. Over a half-million come to this city to enjoy a massive parade that includes Irish bands, bagpipers, elaborate floats, colorful characters, dancers and lots of Irish cheer as it winds through south Boston on a 3-mile-long route. After watching, locals and visitors often head to one of the many venues to take in a variety of Irish entertainment, including the House of Blues where the Irish punk band Dropkick Murphys plays each year.

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Scranton, the city that many are familiar with as the setting for the comedy series “The Office,” hosts the second largest St. Patrick’s Day in the country, bringing more than 12,000 participants and around 150,000 to watch along its downtown streets every year. Scranton PA nightlife is impressive too, especially on this holiday, with everything from venues hosting live music and other shows to pubs serving Guinness and green beer.

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City is famous for its Saint Paddy’s Day festivities, turning its river emerald green just for the day, using a little “leprechaun magic,” of course. The three-hour-long parade that’s been taking place for more than six decades runs along Columbus River between Balbo and Monroe drives and includes Irish step dancers, bands, bagpipers and impressive floats, with over a half-million coming out to watch. 

Savannah, Georgia

For southern charms mixed into your Irish holiday, head to the beautiful town of Savannah, which hosts another one of the country’s largest parades. The celebration begins in early March, with the weekend closest to the holiday hosting the city’s most extravagant party of the year. The fountains in Historic Park District are dyed green for the occasion and visitors can enjoy live music, interactive art, lots of food and drink and more.

Denver, Colorado

Denver hosts one of the biggest parades west of the Mississippi, attracting some 250,000 to watch the procession that follows a circular route through the heart of the city, with 10,000 marching bands and marchers, floats, dancers, Irish setters and even stagecoaches and horses. There are lots of Irish pubs in the city to enjoy afterward, including Fado which offers its own outdoor festival just for the holiday, including live IrishImage music on two stages, plenty of Guinness and mouthwatering Irish fare, including deserts like homemade Harvest Bread Pudding.

Dublin, Ireland

Of course, there’s no better place to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day than in the Emerald Isle itself. If you can plan your Ireland vacation around the holiday, Dublin holds the biggest and the best. The festivities take place over five days here, drawing thousands from across the nation and well-beyond. Look forward to plenty of chaos, merriment, drink and food as well as street performances and a nearly endless parade that typically begins at Parnell Square before traveling along O’Connell and Dame streets before ending at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

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