Just about every city in the United States has a parade honoring the saintly man who drove the snakes from Ireland, either on March 17, or the weekend before or after. In 2018, March 17 falls on a Saturday, so most celebrations are that weekend.
Here are five of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the USA.
New York City – The biggest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the USA has been marching through the streets of NYC since 1762, fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
It was started by a small band of homesick Irish soldiers serving with the British military stationed in Colonial New York City. That makes the 2018 parade the 257th annual celebration, which now includes a VIP review stand at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. The NYC parade includes as many as 250,000 marchers, including the popular NYPD Emerald Society band, pictured here, and two million or more spectators. On March 17, of course.
Boston — Possibly the most Irish city in the USA, Boston bursts with pride during its St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Held annually since 1901, the family friendly parade features floats, music, marching and pipe bands. marching through the streets of South Boston, the city’s most Irish neighborhood. The parade starts at 1PM at the Broadway “T” Station and ends at Farragut Road.
Additional St. Patrick’s Day parades near Boston include:
- Abington: Sunday, March 18, 2018 1:00 pm
- Cape Cod/Yarmouth: Saturday, March 10, 2018, 11:00 am
- Holyoke: Sunday, March 18, 2018, 12:00pm
- Lawrence: Saturday, March 10, 2018, 1:00pm
- Newport, RI: Saturday, March 17, 2018, 11:00am
- Providence, RI: Saturday, March 10, 2018 12:00pm
- Scituate: Sunday, March 18, 2018, 1:00 pm
- Worcester: Sunday, March 11, 2018 at Noon
Chicago – The Windy City starts its St. Patrick’s Day celebration by turning the Chicago River green with a harmless, eco-friendly colored dye. The Chicago River goes green between Wacker and Columbus Drives, then everybody heads to Michigan Ave. to watch the parade, which begins at noon.
San Diego – The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Festival kicks off with a flag raising at 10 a.m. followed by the parade at 10:30. It’s one of the largest single-day events in San Diego, with an all-day roster of music and dance performances in Balboa Park.
Read about sky-diving leprechauns, dancing atop the world’s largest shamrock in a US city named Dublin, and other quirky St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the USA, in my recent article for Orbitz Travel.
For a list of St. Patrick’s celebrations around the world, visit the website St. Patrick’s Day.
This article was published in March 2017, and updated for St. Patrick’s Day 2018.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?