You can’t celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day without attending one of the many parades hosted in major cities around the world. Everyone’s Irish in March or at least everyone wants to be! Today the U.S. and other countries go all out in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with massive and entertaining parades. This cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th is the death date of Saint Patrick, the beloved patron saint of Ireland. Millions around the world join together and celebrate his life and legacy with huge parades each year.
Here are a few of the best Saint Patrick’s Day parades around the world to watch and hopefully attend one day:
Chicago host not one but two parades on Saint Patrick’s Day one on the North and one on the Southside of Chicago. A yearly Chicago tradition many spectators rave about year takes place on the famous Chicago River. The Chicago River has been dyed green for more than 50 years in honor of this holiday. Like New Orleans during Mardi Gras season, Chicago goes all out with parties, pub crawls, and lots of music.
This year the dyeing of the Chicago River will take place the Saturday before Saint Patrick’s Day at 9 am. To snag a great spot for the dying of the river, try grabbing a spot near the east side of Michigan Avenue.
The southside Saint Patrick’s Day parade usually occurs on the Sunday closest to the holiday. There is a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol near the route of the parade due to it being a family-friendly event. In downtown Chicago, the parade takes place the Saturday before Saint Patrick’s Day.
If you’re not a Chicago local and wanting to join in on the festivities, located directly over the Chicago River is the Hyatt Regency; the city’s largest hotel. Secure a room now before the hotel is booked for the holiday. This is a celebration you don’t want to miss out on.
Every year millions flock to the city of New York for the Annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade. This year the parade will begin at 44th street, moving up to the fifth avenue- past the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral all the way to 79th street. The parade can also be watched live on NBC New York at 11 am sharp.
Be sure to get out early for a good spot and wear something green. The parade draws about 250,000 marchers and 2 million spectators annually. You’ll want to find a great spot to enjoy the day’s festivities, so plan to get there early.
While in the big city check out the best Irish restaurants NYC has to offer:
The Late Late in the lower East Side resembles a typical 60s establishment. Try the crisp samba, a traditional Irish sandwich made with Tayto cheese and onion potato chips, Ballymaloe stout relish and cheddar cheese mayo on a chive brioche bun.
Try out the Wheeltapper Pub in the Midtown East of NYC. This pub has two bars, a fireplace, and a year-round heated patio. The Wheeltapper was voted #2 Irish restaurant in NYC back in February of 2018. Cozy up in a quaint nook and enjoy the best pint of Guinness with a hearty meal of Shepherd’s pie or try another classic like the traditional Irish breakfast featuring white and black pudding with Irish sausage and bacon. Yum!
If you are looking for more of an adventure and you have a valid passport. Why not celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Canada this year? Head to Montreal to see the 197th Saint Patrick’s Day parade that will take place this year on March 22, 2020. The parade will leave the corner of Du fort street in Montreal and had east to Metcalfe street. Celebrate with the Irish community along De Maissonuele Boulevard.
The Saint Patrick’s Society of Montreal was created to support Canada’s Irish community. The society’s popular and main social celebrations are the annual charitable ball and the annual Saint Patrick’s Day luncheon dating back to the society’s founding in 1834.
Montreal’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parades have been dubbed the world’s most “reliable” parade. Even in harsh weather climates, like winter storms, the festivities always carry on. You’ll never miss out on the bagpipes, floats, and costumes in Montreal. Just make sure to tune into the weather channel first- Just in case!
Boston is home to a vast population of Irish descendants compared to anywhere else in the U.S. So it’s a no brainer this would be one of the best parades to attend. No place is more Irish in Boston than South Boston, or also known as “Southie” to the locals. Celebrate Irish history and even learn more about your American history right here in Boston this March.
The best spot to get a great view of the parade is anywhere along Broadway street. The parade will begin at the Broadway “T” station and will end at Farragut Road in South Boston. The parade will begin at 1 pm so you’ll have plenty of time to grab a spot- just don’t forget to try some corned beef with cabbage or grab a traditional Irish breakfast before the parades begins.
After the parade ends, stick around and explore the city. A fun activity during the day is to locate the Irish heritage trail, a self-guided walking tour that is 3 miles and takes you through Boston’s downtown, North end, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay. Walk off all the ale and food with a nice tour around the city.
Explore Quincy Market, a popular food vendor stop in the city. You will be engulfed in rows of fabulous clothing boutiques and the city’s best food shoppes. Searching for dinner, a new pair of Nike’s, or a hot beverage? Quincy Market has it all.