St. Patrick's Day Celebrations in the US

There's a bit of Irish in us all, the saying goes. That might account for the wide-spread St. Patrick Day celebrations each year. It's not only the streets along the River Liffey in Dublin where revelers get together to pay homage to the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is also celebrated with just as much fervor this side of the Atlantic...

New York

Over 100 cities in the US now hold St. Patrick's Day parades, and such is the reputation of New York's, that hundreds of people make their way across the pond from the Emerald Isle to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in this city. Whether they come to celebrate in the parade, in church, or in a pub, St. Patrick's Day is one of New York's most exuberant festivals.

New Yorkers celebrate St. Patrick's much in the same way the Irish do back at home: by wearing green. And not only will you find green hats and flowers, but also green beers, bagels, and water fountains!

The city's St. Patrick Day Parade is led by the Irish 165th Infantry, followed by the city's various Irish societies, up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street. The 2008 parade will be held on the 16 March, starting at noon.

South Boston

With its thriving Irish community, South Boston claims to be the 'most Irish' city in the US. Since 1901, South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade has been a prominent part of the city's history. The 2008 parade takes place on 16 March starting at 1pm. As well as the parade, anyone in South Boston for St. Patrick's Day can enjoy a number of free events.


Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade is the largest parade in the city -- it featured in the film 'The Fugitive,' utilized by Harrison Ford to shake off his would-be captors. Thousands of people line up along Columbus Drive the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, and the city is filled with marchers, floats, and bagpipers. The 2008 festivities take place on the 15 March and start with the dying of the Chicago River green at 10.45am, a tradition that dates back to 1962: the parade itself starts from Balbo Avenue and Columbus Drive in Grant Park at noon.


With more than 100 units and 10,000 marchers, Philadelphia's St. Patrick's Day Parade is the third largest in the country. The parade has been an integral part of the city's celebrations since it was first organized by the Irish in 1771. The 2008 parade will be held on the 9 March. The city is also hosting a number of events on the 17 March including the Philadelphia Ceili Group's annual St. Patrick's Day Ceili.

St. Patrick's Day is one celebration when everyone is Irish, and wherever you celebrate, just be sure to wear something green, hold tightly to your shamrock, and go easy on the Guinness. Slaintè!

author: Jane Darragh

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