Although St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in Ireland, its influences have spread throughout the world. Today, the holiday is celebrated all over North America by Irish and non-Irish alike. Whether it’s the excessive drinking or the extravagant celebrations, something about St. Patrick’s Day gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and it shows as we continue to celebrate the holiday year after year.
Although respects are paid to old St. Patrick throughout the continent, these ten places do St. Patrick’s Day better than anyone else, so don’t miss out get on your travel plans now:
Better known as New Dublin around the holiday, this small Wisconsin town of just over 6,000 residents throws a St. Patrick’s Day celebration to rival even the biggest cities. Every March, visitors gather from all over to enjoy a week’s worth of festivals and activities that truly exemplify the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.
Another small town that knows how to throw a big St. Patrick’s Day celebration is Scranton, Pennsylvania. On the Saturday before the 17th, the streets of Scranton overflow with over 150,000 celebrators who came to partake in the town’s holiday festivities, including a parade of over 8,000 marchers and performers.
It stands to reason that a place renowned for its parties would be good at celebrating something like St. Patty’s Day. The New Orleans attitude fits the holiday perfectly, and every year thousands flock to the Big Easy to fill up on green beer and party their socks off (along with other garments).
Whoever says Canada doesn’t know how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day has never been to Toronto. Each year thousands of Canadians (and non-Canadians) congregate in Toronto, Ontario for one of the biggest parades in North America, featuring a bevy of marching bands, floats, and green-clad onlookers.
Savannah held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1825, and it hasn’t skipped a beat since. Not only does the parade boast an annual crowd of over 400,000, but every March the fountains run green, making Savannah one of the best places to celebrate the holiday.
Representing the west coast, San Francisco celebrates the holiday like no other. In the City by the Bay, St. Patrick’s Day is more than just a day to get drunk and make bad decisions; it’s a day to celebrate the vast richness of Irish culture.
Priding itself with the second oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country, Philadelphia knows how to do the holiday right. Whether you’re with your family or partying with friends, you can be sure to have an unforgettable St. Patrick’s Day in the City of Brotherly Love.
You know it’s St. Patrick’s Day when the rivers run green. A tradition since 1962, the dying of the Chicago River to a rich emerald green signals the start of the annual parade, which travels right through the heart of the Windy City. The festivities don’t stop there, but continue on into the night at the many pubs found throughout the city.
Since 1762, New York has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a big way. Every year the St. Patrick’s Day Parade makes its way up Fifth Avenue to the deafening screams of over a million attendees, all dressed in various shades of green. Even the Empire State Building is adorned with bright green lights in the spirit of the holiday.
Though New York may have it beat in parade attendance, nowhere is the St. Patrick’s Day spirit stronger than in Boston, Massachusetts. Boasting the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 1737 along with a 16% Irish population, it’s not surprising that Boston goes all out for the holiday, starting the party a full week before the big day. The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which takes place on the Sunday before the 17th, is one of the largest and perhaps the rowdiest in the country, with an expected 2011 attendance of over 600,000.