Famous St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Around The U.S.
As much of the U.S. staggers through the cold and snow of winter, one of the first signs of hope they see is St. Patrick’s Day every March.
This holiday originated as an observance of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and it was named for an Irish priest who used the shamrock to explain the three-in-one nature of the Holy Trinity to his parishioners.
Like so many holidays, the American observance of St. Patrick’s Day and its religious namesake has taken on a fun secular nature that features plenty of shamrocks and lots of lighthearted Irish-for-a-day fun.
So if a taste of the Emerald Isle is on your mind this March, where in the United States will you find the most like-minded people?
The obvious answer is to find the Irish, and that turns out to be just the way to go.
Cities with large Irish enclaves have the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations because they’ve been celebrating this event the longest, long before Americans of other nationalities took much interest in the day.
New York City
It’s no surprise that the Big Apple serves as a pretty big shamrock too.
Because so many immigrants from every nation took their first steps on American soil by way of Ellis Island, there is of course a huge concentration of Irish descendants in New York City.
The largest celebration is a massive parade, best seen around 5th Avenue and 44th Street.
There are also organized pub crawls for those wishing to walk or stagger from Guinness to Guinness, and of course there are numerous options for viewing traditional Irish dancers—a treat any time of the year.
Just a short distance on up the East Coast, Beantown is also home to lots of folks of Irish descent.
South Boston in particular is closely linked to the tri-color flag of Eire, but the entire city comes to life on March 17, brimming with green from one side of town to the other.
You’ll feel like a Chieftains groupie as you traipse across the city, taking in any of the numerous traditional Irish bands who perform all through the day.
Temporary residents on the city’s many college campuses see their ivy-covered walls draped in orange, white, and green bunting for the day.
And of course there are plenty of pubs to visit.
With its buffeting winds and seemingly endless snows, no city has more residents hankering for summer than the Windy City.
What city with an airport named O’Hare would not have a great March 17 agenda for you?
Once again, you’ll find fun drinking establishments to visit, amazing musicians to listen to, and fleet-footed dancers to leave your head spinning.
But the signature feature of St. Patrick’s day in Chicago is the sparkling green Chicago River, a highlight so beloved by residents and visitors that the process of dyeing the water is its own event.
Although there is still plenty of religious observance on St. Patrick’s Day, Protestants and even non-Irish can still find lots of ways to celebrate this unique holiday in almost any of America’s major cities.
Grab your derby hat and hit the streets!