With many Americans tracing their ancestry back to the land of Eire, St. Patrick’s Day remains an extremely popular holiday in the U.S. You’ll likely find parties no matter where you are in America on March 17th, but the celebrations in these cities have the rest of the country beat.
1. Chicago, Illinois
No other American city celebrates St. Patrick’s Day quite like Chicago. Hundreds of thousands flock to the Windy City each year to take part in the festivities, which include the dyeing of the Chicago River an emerald green color, parties in authentic Irish pubs and a massive parade. St. Patrick’s Day is a multi-day event in Chicago and there’s plenty to do for people of all ages. Here are some suggestions.
– Watch the waters of the Chicago River turn a bright emerald green on the Saturday morning before St. Patrick’s Day.
– Following the dyeing of the river is the Downtown Parade. Deck yourself out in green and lines the streets to take in one of the largest parades in the country.
– Take a tour of some of the oldest Irish pubs in Chicago on the Stout Me Up! Tour. ($30)
2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Steel City has one of the highest percentages of its population identifying as Irish in America, great access to bars and nightlife and an enormous St. Patrick’s Day parade with over 20,000 participants. Spending the 17th of March in Pittsburgh is a guaranteed good time. Here’s how to enjoy the festivities.
– Take in the parade downtown around 10am.
– After the parade, head over to Irish Fair in the Square Market in the historic Market Square.
– Spend the night out of the town.
3. St. Louis, Missouri
The green comes out in full force in St. Louis every St. Patrick’s Day. The city boasts one of the best St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the nation and it kicks off a full day of celebration in Dogtown, the city’s Irish neighborhood. Here’s how to make the best of your Irish holiday in St. Louis.
– Lace up your running shoes and take part in the 5-mile Michelob ULTRA Run on the Saturday before the 17th.
– After the run, take in the massive parade, beginning around noon.
– On the 17th, take in the traditional parade in Dogtown around 12:30pm.
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is known for it’s proud Irish heritage, so seeing it on our list should come as no surprise. The partying begins here a full week before St. Patrick’s Day and around 850,000 come to the city to take part in the festivities, which include: a Gaelic Gourmet Gala, concerts from Irish bands and naturally a super-sized parade. Here are some tips for celebrating in Boston.
– On the Sunday before the 17th, take in the huge South Boston Parade.
– The city is filled with Irish pubs. Have a traditional Irish meal in one.
– The Dropkick Murphy’s, Boston’s most well known Irish Punk Rock band, plays a concert at the House of Blues each year. Score some tickets and enjoy the show.
5. Davenport, Iowa
Davenport shares its Grand Parade with the “Quad Cities” region of Illinois, making this the only bi-state St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S. The parade is followed by a massive bash that’s sure to be a good time for anyone. Here’s a list of must-do events.
– The Grand Weekend begins with The Gathering of the Clan Luncheon.
– Following the luncheon it The Grand Parade beginning in Illinois and ending in Davenport, Iowa.
– The Post Parade Bash, which occurs directly after the parade, is a great way to wrap up the festivities.
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Home to the 2nd oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade and a slew of America’s most important historical sites, Philadelphia is a great place to find yourself on the 17th of March. Here are some of the cities most important events celebrating the holiday.
– The St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place on Benjamin Franklin Parkway the Sunday before the 17th.
– The Leprechaun Run takes place the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. The 5-mile run raises money for Special Olympics Philadelphia.
– Head to McGilin’s Old Ale House, the oldest Irish bar in the city, for drinks and traditional food.
7. Phoenix, Arizona
The Valley in Phoenix brings its A game when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The beer is green, the plates are filled with corned beef and cabbage and the streets are lined with Irish step dancers and bag pipers. Here are some tips for celebrating Irish heritage in The Grand Canyon State.
– Take place in the “Kiss Me I’m Irish” Run.
– Attend the Pot of Gold Music Festival at Tempe Park, a four-day event that has attracted big names like Kendrick Lamar and Fall Out Boy.
– Join the parade and Irish Family Faire with about 50,000 other spectators.
8. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah boasts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the entire world. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the southern Georgia city to enjoy the festivities and 70-degree weather. Here’s how to make your Irish partying in Savannah a success.
– Get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with the Tara Feis Irish Celebration, a cultural event held on the Saturday before the 17th to celebrate Irish heritage.
– Kick off St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah with the parade.
– Following the parade hit up the St. Patrick’s Day Festival downtown.
9. Kansas City, Missouri
St. Patrick’s Day is the biggest event of the year in Kansas City. Concerts, parades, carnivals, and markets spring up throughout the city, making for one great party. Here are some suggestions of what to do if you are in Kansas City on March 17th.
– Don’t miss the BBQ Championship event help the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.
– Visit Browne’s Irish Market for a traditional breakfast.
– Attend a Gaelic Mass at Redemptorist Catholic Church.
– Watch the parade, which has a rotating theme each year. Past themes include: March of the Irish; An Irish Tribute to Walt Disney, and 2001 An Irish Odyssey
10. Erin, Tennessee
Chances are, you’ve never heard of this small town just outside of Nashville, but its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are of proportions large enough to deserve your attention. The weeklong festivities begin a week before the holiday and include parades, leprechauns, a Shamrock Showdown, a carnival, a Celtic concert and a demolition derby. 10,000 people turn up to celebrate in Erin – that’s ten times the population. How awesome is that? Here are some tips for joining in on the festivities.
– Stay in Nashville. While the celebration in Erin is great, there’s more to do outside of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Nashville.
– Be prepared to start your day early. The party begins with a breakfast at 8am at the Presbyterian Church.
– There are two parades here: The Leprechaun Parade and the Grand Parade
11. Roanoke, Virginia
Every year downtown Roanoke hosts the McDonald’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Shamrock Festival and Corned Beef and Co.’s Celtic Celebration. More than 25,000 come to the city to take part in the festivities and this number continues to increase each year. Here’s how to make the most of your March 17th in Roanoke.
– The parade takes place the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day at 11am.
– The Shamrock Festival begins immediately after the parade and lasts until 8pm.
– After the Shamrock Festival, go for a night out on the town.
12. San Diego, California
Bud Light hosts a huge festival called the shamrock each year in San Diego and it’s always a good time, bringing Ireland all the way across the pond and to the west coast. Over 20,000 attend the festival, where Irish Rock and Irish Punk Rock bands play concerts in celebration of the holiday. Here are some tips for enjoying a St. Patrick’s Day in San Diego.
– Make sure to catch the parade – it’s the largest one west of the Mississippi! It takes place on the Saturday before the 17th.
– Ticket prices to the festival range from $35-$45, depending on when you buy them
– Try some Irish Jameson Whiskey – they sponsor the event!
13. Dallas, Texas
Dallas hosts a block party every year in honor of St. Patrick, kicked off by the Greenville Ave. parade. Streets are closed to traffic and party-goers fill the lanes, bar-hopping and attending various concerts. The event has brought in some big names in the past, including Snoop Dogg and Ludacris. Consider the following when celebrating St. Patty’s Day in Dallas.
– The upcoming parade will take place on March 19th, 2016.
– It’s estimated that over 125,000 will be in attendance for the parade. Make sure you get there early to get a good spot!
14. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Credit: Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is home to many authentic Irish bars and restaurants, all of which assist the city in throwing down a good party and going all out in the green for St. Patrick’s Day. There are events the entire week leading up to March 17th, but the parade is the most important of them all. More than 30,000 spectators line the street to the sounds of bagpipes as the parade makes its way through the heart of downtown. Here are some tips for celebrating St. Paddy’s in Colorado Springs.
– The festivities kick off the Saturday before the 17th with a 50K bike ride and a 5K run. Be ready to be active!
– The parade follows the 5K, beginning around noon.
– Pikes Peak Brewing hosts a three-day event with special Irish brews, bagpipers, an Irish dance troop, and more! Don’t forget to stop by if you’re in town.
15. New York City, New York
It’s no secret that NYC knows how to party, so it comes as no surprise that their St. Patrick’s Day parade is the oldest and largest in the country, dating back to 1762! Here’s what to know before you go.
– The parade begins at 11am on the 17th. Make sure to get a spot on Fifth Avenue early for the best views.
– The 10th Annual NYC Craft Beer Festival falls during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities this year. Check it out and try some Irish-inspired brews.
– Take a Little Ireland and Little Italy combo-tasting tour.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Have you taken part in any of these events? Let us know in the comments!