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St. Patrick’s Day festivities have long been part of the Irish holiday in many parts of the world, including the U.S. If you want to put on your favorite green outfit and celebrate this joyous holiday, these are some of the best.
Not surprisingly Dublin celebrates the Irish holiday in a big way with a massive, wild party that guarantees plenty of good humor and fun. The famous parade is said to already have 13 bands lined up, some Irish and some international, with the plans going full steam ahead. There will be events day and night with family-friendly carnivals, concerts on open stages, street theaters, a treasure hunt, dance shows, and more. Plus, most are free of charge. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade route will run from St. Mary’s Place to St. Patrick’s Cathedral starting at noon on March 17th. It’s not too hard to find a spot to watch along O’Connell Street, but you’ll want to arrive early to do it.
Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland and it was the first to declare St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday back in 1903, making it another great spot to celebrate. In addition to a traditional parade, the city’s festival typically features lots of music, concerts, and a wide variety of performances. The theme of the parade this year is “Waterford – Ireland’s Best Place to Live.” The festival will take place over three days, March 17 through March 19, paying homage to the city’s people and communities, its culture and heritage, its diversity, and its musical and artistic talent. Of course, while you’re here you can tour the famous Waterford Crystal company too.
The huge celebration for St. Patrick’s Day in London will be back this year too, hosted in the heart of the city at Trafalgar Square. There will be a full program of entertainment, with the historic parade taking place on Sunday, March 13 featuring Irish marching bands from the UK, US, and Ireland, along with dance troupes and pageantry. It starts at Hyde Park Corner, traveling through Piccadilly, St James’s Street, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, and Whitehall. There will be food stalls, children’s activities, and much more.
Toronto has been putting on one of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world for over 150 years. The parade weekend will take place from March 11 through March 13, filled with music, dance, floats, and plenty of fun. The Grand Marshal’s Ball takes place on Friday night, while a series of Celtic concerts will be hosted on Saturday followed by the parade on Sunday, with many events free or low-cost. There will be lots of green day and night with many restaurants, bars, and other venues hosting special events for the holiday too like McVeigh’s Irish Pub, a 50-year-old family-run drinking hole that’s authentically Irish with plenty of perfectly poured pints of Guinness for your toasts.
The oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place in New York City, 2023 is said to be bigger and better than ever. There will be a full parade along Fifth Avenue on March 17th, an event that was started in 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British army. More than 150,000 marchers, including firefighters, military and police groups, bands, social and cultural clubs, county associations, and performers parade for five hours in honor of the Irish saint. Be sure to arrive early for a good spot.
Boston famously hosts one of the world’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades which officially started in 1901, but the celebration is said to date nearly 200 years before that in 1737 when colonists of Irish descent held a modest parade. A half-million people typically come to enjoy it now, filled with Irish bands, dancers, bagpipers, floats, colorful characters, and plenty of Irish cheer. It all begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, winding through the streets of South Boston on a three-mile-long route. You can expect plenty of other entertainment, including live concerts with Irish bands throughout the city.
The Mile High City throws one of the largest parades you’ll find west of the Mississippi. It follows a circular route through the heart of Denver, typically featuring 10,000 marchers, floats, marching bands, dancers, and Irish-themed fun, with a Western flair that includes horses and stagecoaches. Afterward, you’ll find plenty of Irish pubs to continue the party like the popular Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant right downtown.
San Francisco’s Irish celebration is back, with the highlight of the event the Saint Patrick’s Day parade that starts at 11:30 a.m. With many Irish immigrants helping to establish this city around the time of the great gold discovery of 1849, the festivities have been taking place here for over 160 years. Tens of thousands of participants join in to honor Irish culture with everything from Irish singing and traditional poetry to the more than 100 colorful floats, Irish dance troupes, and marching bands. The route begins at 2nd and Market streets and heads straight down Market Street all the way to Civic Center Plaza.
Enjoy a good dose of Southern charm with your Irish holiday in Savannah, known for hosting the country’s second-largest parade. This year is sure to be a big thrill after two years of cancelations. The festival begins with the Greening of the Fountain at Forsyth Park in the city’s historic district with the parade starting on March 17th at 10:15 a.m. It will be a bit scaled back – instead of the typical street parties and wild spring break atmosphere, the entertainment will primarily be hosted in the restaurants and bars.
Phoenix is overflowing with Irish spirit on the holiday and the events are back with the 39th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Irish Faire. The parade includes marching bands, bagpipers, Irish step dancers, floats, government dignitaries, police and fire vehicles, along with the Arizona Irish Colleen with her Court. The fair offers entertainment provided by Irish dancers and Celtic rock bands on multiple stages, crafters, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and more. There will be plenty of corned beef and cabbage enjoyed with mugs of green beer too.
Montreal hosts Canada’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Canada, celebrated since 1824. The three-hour procession features hundreds of floats, marching bands, performers, and revelers, marching to celebrate the Irish community. It will begin at noon on Sunday, March 20th. After many of the participants and spectators head to the area around Bishop, Crescent, and University streets, where Irish pints and music will be flowing freely at the Old Dublin, Hurley’s, and McKibbin’s.
New Orleans knows how to throw a party and it will be doing it up right for St. Patrick’s Day this year. It’s a week-and-a-half of festivities and fun with multiple parades and legendary block parties complete with Irish stew combined with the city’s traditional beads and flowers that are tossed out to the crowds. Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade will take place on Friday, March 12th, followed by both the Irish Channel Parade and the Italian-American St. Joseph’s Parade in the French Quarter on the 13th, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade along Metairie Road on the 14th.
There are several towns named Dublin in the U.S. but Dublin, Ohio does the holiday best with a pancake breakfast, parade floats marching through the downtown followed by plenty of Celtic music throughout establishments in the Historic District, alongside beer, Irish tea, and potato chowder.