With more than 35 million Americans reporting Irish heritage, it’s no wonder that St. Patrick’s Day is a huge national event in cities across the nation. Every year, The country’s major metropolitan areas spend the day at local parades and parties, guzzling their fill of green beer and chowing down on corned beef and cabbage.
While full-blooded Irish from the Emerald Isle may celebrate St. Patrick’s Day differently than their Irish-American counterparts, there’s a lot to be said for the spectacle the US makes of it. If you’re looking to indulge in the full American St. Patrick’s Day experience, you’ll want to be in one of these three cities during the week of March the 17th.
Though it’s received admirable competition from other cities in surrounding states, Chicago is consistently named the best place in the US to party it up on Paddy’s Day. In a true Irish spirit, this city goes as far as dying all 251 kilometers of the Chicago River an electrifying shade of emerald green.
On March the 17th, the city comes alive with pub crawls and multiple parades. Those celebrating in Chicago will want to catch The South Side Irish Parade as it runs down 103rd Street and Western Avenue. More than anything, it’s Chicago’s spirit of festivity that makes it the number one destination for celebrating St. Patrick’s day in the US.
New York City, New York
No city knows how to party quite like the Big Apple. While most know New York for its massive New Years Eve bash, it’s also the prime spot for St. Patrick’s Day. Every year, more than two million people flock to the city to watch the country’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, an event that dwarves all other Paddy’s Day parades in the world (Ireland itself included).
If you’re wanting to visit NYC on March the 17th, you might think about planning several months in advance. The sheer volume and extravagance of New York’s celebration cause many hotels to book out in advance.
As the initial landing spot of the first Irish immigrants and the home to a population that is more than 21% Irish, it’s no wonder that Boston is one of the biggest cities for experiencing the nation’s best Paddy’s Day celebrations. Because Boston has such a high Irish-American population, its St. Patrick’s Day festivities tend to offer a more cultural focus in comparison to the festivities of New York and Chicago.
Boston’s oldest and most famous St. Patrick’s Day tradition is the Parade through Southie (South Boston) which generally happens on the weekend closest to March 17th. If parades aren’t exactly up your alley, there’s plenty of other festivities to take part in. All week, the city features concerts, film festivals, and heritage-related exhibits. While you’re in town to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll probably also want to find time to walk the Irish Heritage Trail, which gives a 200-year history of Irish life in Boston. Whether you’re Irish or not, chances are you’ll love it.