- Category: Top Picks
Top St. Patrick's Day Celebrations
It takes more than the luck of the Irish for a city to be designated as one of the top U.S. St. Patrick's Day destinations. A place has to pull out all the stops, usually by starting the day with a phenomenal parade, Irish music, food, green beer, and a city-wide party. On this list, you'll find the oldest, strangest, and liveliest St. Paddy's day bashes in North America. You won't want to miss it - and that's no blarney!
This is the oldest and grandest St. Paddy's celebration you'll find anywhere in the U.S. Bean Town first celebrated the holiday in 1737, and it's been improving on its Irish party every since. About 850,000 people attend the festivities in this town that's about 16 percent Irish.
New York City
With the third-oldest St. Patrick's celebration (New York started its in 1762), the Big Apple truly paints the town green. Around 2 million people line the streets for the largest and oldest St. Pat's parade in the United States. The parade has over 150,000 marchers, bagpipes, and plenty of green beer, but no motorized vehicles.
In Chicago, they even dye the Chicago River green! The Windy City puts on two terrific parades, on in South Side and one downtown. About 300,000 people attend each. The Chicago celebration is relatively young - it's only been going on annually since before the Civil War.
In Savannah they celebrate this Irish holiday by adding a southern twist - green grits for breakfast before the big city parade. Join the crowd of 400,000 and see the city fountains run green for the day. This grand party has been going on since 1825.
San Francisco, California
This is the biggest St. Patrick's day on the west coast. The family-friendly San Francisco parade follows the trolley tracks through the city, drawing millions of people.
New London, Wisconsin
Visit the only town in the nation that changes its name just for St. Patrick's Day - to New Dublin. The town party includes a grand parade, corned beef and cabbage, Irish music, dancing, and more. You won't want to miss the reenactment of Finnegans Wake before the parade.
It isn't the only American city named Dublin, but it's the one that puts on the best St. Patrick's Day celebration. The parade is filled with clowns, floats, and bands, and there are plenty of great parties going on before and after. Don't miss the fabulous Irish music in the Blarney Bash Tent.
The second-oldest St. Patrick's Day event includes a showing of Finnegans Wake, a fabulous parade, and superb neighborhood festivals. Thousands of people don the green to cheer on the floats and bands at this massive parade.