Oh Saint Patrick’s day…an Irish holiday filled with music, food, parades, festivities and all things green. You don’t have to travel to Ireland to celebrate, and America boasts some of the best parties around. Check out these 7 cities from around the U.S. to get down and get green for St. Patty’s.
New York City, NY
The city that never sleeps has got one hell of a St. Patty’s day celebration that draws up to 2 million attendees each year. First, kick things off with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This Big Apple treat is over 250 years old, making it the oldest and largest in the world. Over 150,000 individuals join, made up of firefighters, military and police. Don’t forget to enjoy a frosty brew at McSorely’s Old Ale House- the oldest Irish pub in New York City.
Travel to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day and watch, beer in hand, as hundreds of pounds of green dye is dropped in the Chicago River, turning it a bright sparkling green. The Downtown Chicago Parade begins at noon and spectators can watch in awe and cheer on the beautifully decorated floats and Irish dancers ushering in the holiday. Get your fill of delicious green beer at hot spots such as The River Shannon, Fado Irish Pub or Poag Mahone’s.
This historic southern city has been throwing St. Patty’s celebrations since 1825- starting with an infamous parade that draws crowds of over 400,000 people each year. A favorite tradition during the holiday involves dying the fountains green and Savannah has become well known as a St. Patrick’s Day destination for one hell of a party with plenty of great pub and restaurant options.
New Orleans, Louisiana
You just can’t throw a party without New Orleans, and when it comes to St. Patty’s Day, you know the Big Easy is going to do it up right! They combine St. Patrick’s Day with Saint Joseph’s Day, so celebrations last all week long. Enjoy parades and block parties that never ends, as well as the traditional bead toss- with a twist. Potatoes, cabbages, carrots and onions are also tossed to the crowd!
There is a deep-rooted Irish heritage in this historical U.S. city, so if you are looking for an old fashioned Irish celebration, this is the spot for you. The attendance list tops 850,000 on this day and the parties begin a week before the actual holiday. There is a ton to partake in, including the Gaelic Gourmet Gala, parades and plenty of Irish band concerts.
San Francisco, CA
If you’re on the west coast, then San Francisco is the city to visit for St. Patty’s Day celebrations. This city has a parade unlike any other that dates back to 1852 and follows the city’s trolley tracks. Green beer is served all over town after the parade, keeping the party going all day and all night.
Here you will find the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire- a giant celebration that includes Irish step dancers, bagpipes and marching bands. There is a little something for everyone- concerts and dancing for the adults and games, pony rides and face painters for the kiddies. Enjoy plates full of corned beef and cabbage, washed down with some tasty beer.
Courtney is a full-time writer covering soccer, travel and the outdoors. You can find her scouting out hole in the wall joints for the perfect carnitas taco, jumping in the ocean under the light of a full moon or exploring the beautiful Florida wilderness and documenting her adventures in her blog, www.localtravelgal.wordpress.com.