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 2019, March 17 falls on a Sunday, so most celebrations are that weekend.
Here are five of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the USA.
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 2019 parade the 258th 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.
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:
- Cape Cod/Yarmouth
- Newport, RI
- Providence, RI
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.
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 and more in Dublin, along with and other quirky St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the USA, in my article for Orbitz Travel.
This article was published in March 2017, and revised and updated for St. Patrick’s Day 2019.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?