Figuring out where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be a guessing game!
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all around the world and in some places, it is the biggest celebrated holiday.
We want to inspire you to get off that old bar stool that is sitting in you’re hometown bar called O’Sullivan and experience a real St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
We have put together the top places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, so put down your drink in that poorly decorated St. Patrick’s Day bar and lets really experience a true St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Yes, it’s okay if you are not Irish, we will try not to hold it against you. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated every year on March 17th to commemorate the death of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.
At the age of 16, Saint Patrick is said to have been kidnapped from Britain by Irish raiders and taken to Gaelic Ireland as a slave where he spent 6 years as a shepherd and “found God.”
The Declaration (which is an account allegedly written by Saint Patrick himself) says that God told Patrick to go to the coast where a boat would be waiting to free him and take him home.
Upon returning home he became a Christian priest and later returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. He died on March 17, 461 AD.
Modern-day celebrations have been expanded mostly by North Americans but they typically involve parades, festivals and the wearing of green clothes, accessories, and shamrocks.
Why shamrocks? Saint Patrick is said to have used the three-leafed shrub to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. All that said, St Patrick’s Day has become a worldwide celebration with each place putting their own twists on the holiday.
Let us take a look at the top places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.
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14 Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Table of Contents
1. Dublin, Ireland
Obviously the number one place to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day, a day celebrating the patron saint of Ireland, is, well… Ireland.
Dublin has a number of events running throughout the day that makes it the number one choice for St.Patty’s Day destinations including a parade, a carnival, local musical performances and even a treasure hunt through the city.
Grab a Guinness at the local pub and enjoy the rowdy Irish atmosphere. If you want an even more authentic Irish atmosphere, be sure to check out Galway, Ireland.
Located on the western coast, Galway is one of Ireland’s favorite cities and you can celebrate here with Galway’s own St.Patrick’s Day parade, Galway Theatre Festival, and local, original music playing at Eyre Square.
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2. Boston, Massachusetts
Having the highest percentage of Irish immigrants in the US at about 15%, Boston has a number of great celebratory traditions for March 17th.
Visit Irish pubs, check out the Irish film festival, participate in the St. Patty’s Day parade in South Boston, join pub crawls and hear Irish music, and most of all walk the Irish Heritage Trail.
The Irish Trail is one of the most unique Boston St. Patty’s Day traditions and takes you on a 3-mile journey from Rose Kennedy Rose Garden to Fenway Park, celebrating the contributions Irish immigrants have made to the city over the past three centuries.
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3. Chicago, Illinois
Historically a hub of Irish Americans, Chicago is one of the best locations for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations because of their many traditions.
Not only do they have several parades and festivals, a St. Patrick’s Day cruise, Celtic performances, and a marathon to participate in.
Additionally, local plumbers actually dye the Chicago River green creating an Irish atmosphere that’s inescapable. Don any and all green clothing you can find and head out to the streets to celebrate.
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4. New York, New York
Boasting one of the biggest parades, New York definitely doesn’t skimp on its St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The New York St. Patrick’s Day parade hosts around 200,000 marches in an event that runs for most of the day and this year, the parade is open to the LGBT community for the first time.
Expect to see marchers, bands, bagpipes, and a ton of floats celebrating through the streets. In addition to the famous parade, there are of course a number of other ways to celebrate in New York.
Join the world’s largest pub crawl, visit the Merchant’s House Museum for tales of Irish Immigrants. Stop in at the literary after-party at Tavern on the Green where you can hear readings from famous Irish authors.
You can also listen to Irish musical groups, or even take a tour of the Whisky Wars Factory to learn about the tax wars between Brooklyn distilleries and the government.
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5. Montreal, Canada
The city flag of Montreal has a shamrock. The oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Canada, the Montreal St. Patrick’s Day parade has been held every single year since 1824. So there has to be great fun that this St. Patrick’s Day party.
It goes no matter what in rain or snow. Nothing has stopped this parade yet. Montreal is a great place for a good old’ Irish time. Wear your green attire to a number of Irish pubs around the city and drink into the night.
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6. London, England
As one of Ireland’s closest neighbors, it’s no surprise that the UK also feels the Irish pride. Watch fabulous floats, Irish dancing schools, sports clubs and UK marching bands in the London Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
Then go to Trafalgar Square to enjoy a number of Irish-themed events such as film festivals, music, and dance performances, and Irish food markets. Even the London Eye goes green for this day of boisterous celebration!
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7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Did you know Pittsburgh has one of the highest percentages of identifying as Irish in the United States? Yes, it is behind our number 2 on our list for Irish living Americans, however, its only by a hair.
The city of Pittsburgh also offers great access to bars. Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has over 20,000 participants. Add all of that together and it’s one heck of a St. Patrick’s Day party you can not miss.
That is what makes it the number one US cities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. 13.5% of Pittsburgh, PA is Irish. The St. Patrick’s Day parade was established in 1869. Weather in Pittsburgh, PA on St. Patrick’s Day is normally chilly and rainy.
8. Davenport, Iowa
Yes, Davenport, Iowa is not a place that comes to mind for St. Patrick’s Day to most people. However, Davenport, IA, and the “Quad Cities” region of Illinois and Iowa host a huge grand parade.
It’s the only bi-state St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the US followed by a crazy post-parade bash. 13.1% of Davenport is Irish. The St. Patrick’s Day parade was established in 1986. Weather in Davenport on St. Patrick’s Day is normally cool and sunny
9. Buffalo, New York
The city of Buffalo not one but two full St. Patrick’s Day parades that are celebrated city-wide. 10.9% of Buffalo is Irish.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade here was established in 1811. Weather in Buffalo on St. Patrick’s Day is normally chilly and rainy.
10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The town of Philadelphia has two consecutive weekends surrounding St. Paddy’s Day.
It is known as one of the best annual bars crawls in America and Philly’s Erin Express has offered free transportation to over 20 Philadelphia bars for over 30 years.
The city of Philadelphia loves the holiday so much they also celebrate a “St. Practice Day” the weekend before.
With all of that added up, Philadelphia should be on anyone’s list to hit for St. Patrick’s Day. 11.3 % of Philadelphia is Irish and the St. Patrick’s Day parade was established in 1771.
Weather in Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s Day is normally chilly and rainy.
11. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah may have about half the Irish population of Pittsburgh but that doesn’t stop the city of Savannah from throwing one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world. What helps success is the 70-degree perfect weather for St. Paddy’s Day.
So if you are someone who loves nice warm weather to party in, Savannah, GA should be on the top of your list to celebrate. 7.4 % of Savannah is Irish and the St. Patrick’s Day parade was established in 1824.
12. Kansas City, Missouri
St. Patrick’s Day is the biggest event of the year in Kansas City. The epic party starts the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day with Snake Saturday along with a huge BBQ championship. 10.2 % of Kansas City is Irish and the St. Patrick’s Day parade was established in 1873.
13. Cleveland, Ohio
The city of Cleveland puts on one of the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Ohio. It always occurs on March 17, no matter what day of the week it is.
This parade is huge and in 2012 a staggering 500,000 people attended with it continuing to grow ever since. 8.0 % of Cleveland is Irish and the parade was established in 1867.
14. St. Louis, Missouri
This is not the biggest place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day parade in Missouri but it’s one of the best in the country. The Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Partick’s Day Parade kicks off a day of celebration in Dog Town.
Why not celebrate in an Irish neighborhood, that’s what they do in St. Louis. 9.1 % of ST. Louis is Irish and the St. Patrick’s Day parade was established in 1873.
No matter where you are in the world, there is bound to be some kind of Saint Patrick’s Day celebration going on. So stock up on green clothing, accessories and plan a night at the local pub.
We hope our list of top places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day really does inspire you to get out and have some fun this year. Where is the best place you have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day?
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