Growing up, St. Patrick’s Day was a day of chasing leprechauns, looking for rainbows and wearing green so as to avoid getting pinched. In college, the tides turned and we probably used March 17th as an excuse for a day of debauchery. And now, as professional and maybe even family women, we most likely look at it as just another weekend or weekday. But as a sort of midpoint between New Years and Fourth of July, why shouldn’t we use St. Patty’s Day as an excuse to celebrate? Winter is coming to an end, daylight hours are growing longer and pretty soon we’ll be enjoying sunny spring days. Let’s take the time to recognize, enjoy and celebrate the transition! Take part in a wee bit of St. Patrick’s Day revelry with these events around the country. Just remember: the green rule applies no matter how old you are!
New York, New York
The country’s largest parade, and the world’s (yes, world’s) longest continually running one, NYC’s route down 5th Ave past St. Patrick’s Cathedral has been in place since its start in 1762. If you want to party like the Irish, check out NYC’s annual Craft Beer Festival, in town the weekend before the holiday. Of, if you’re more of a foodie, try the Little Ireland and Little Italy History and Tasting Tour.
Check out Savannah’s Tara Feis (pronounced FESH) in downtown Emmett Park. This year the festival is featuring FullSet, a modern group that is taking the Irish music scene by storm. While you’re in town head to the parade as well, held the morning of St. Patrick’s Day. Claiming to be the second largest in the world, Georgians do the parade picnic-style, setting up tailgates along the parade route.
Chicago does St. Patrick’s Day in style, decorating the whole city for their parade by dying the river emerald green the morning of the event. Their parade is always on a Saturday, so for us working professionals attendance should be easier. Check out their website for details of this year’s event, scheduled for March 14. While you’re there, get a better look at the river on a guided sightseeing cruise complete with traditional Irish lunch.
Touted as America’s most Irish city, Boston has a lot of Irish history to offer. If you’re in town for the holiday, they hold the traditional parade, but for something different check out the Irish Heritage Trail for a unique look at Irish-American history. To create a week-long celebration, head out the weekend before for the Celtic Music Festival or stay for the weekend after for the Irish Film Festival.
These four cities make National Geographic’s list of top ten places to celebrate, but for a smaller town feel check out:
Not the only American town dubbed Dublin, but the one that claims to be the “greenest, [and] grandest.” If you can make it to this central Ohio area, make sure you stick around for the Blarney Bash for a festival of food, dance and music.
Complete with chili-cook offs and beard-growing contests, this Irish-named town just west of the Oklahoma/Texas line, has weekend long celebrations. So dig out your dancing shoes, throw some chili in your crockpot and drive on over to the festivities.
New London, Wisconsin
Officially renamed New Dublin for the holiday week, this town in Wisconsin town goes all out with celebrations. Check out the standard parade and Irish fest, but don’t miss their unique “Finnegan’s Wake.”
If these towns aren’t accessible to you, do a quick search of your hometown to see what sort of festivities you can find. Or gather family and friends and plan your own! Wherever you’ll be, make sure you take a few minutes to stop and smell the shamrocks. Winter is coming and this is just the beginning of the green!