As the saying goes, everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
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 2023, March 17 falls on a Friday, so check dates carefully so you don’t miss yours.
Here are five of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the USA.
St. Patrick’s Day in 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.
By my math, that makes the 2023 parade the 261st 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.
By tradition, NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 11am on March 17, no matter what day of the week that is.
St. Patrick’s Day in 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.
In 2023, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston is on Sunday, March 19th.
Additional St. Patrick’s Day parades near Boston include:
- Cape Cod/Yarmouth
- Newport, RI
- Providence, RI
St. Patrick’s Day in 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.
In 2023, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago is Saturday, March 11.
The 2023 parade theme is “Recognizing Worker’s Rights”.
St. Patrick’s Day in 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.
In 2023, the 41st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in San Diego is on Saturday, March 11.
St. Patrick’s Day in Denver
Denver goes green for its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, starting at 9:30 a.m. on March 11.
This is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country with an estimated 300,000 spectators along the 15-block route.
There are the standard parade floats, clowns, pipe bands, Irish step dancers and military honorees, horses – plus this Western city includes stagecoaches.
In 2023, the parade is on Saturday, March 11, starting at 9:30 am.
The route starts at 19th and Wynkoop then proceeds down Wynkoop to 17th street, south to Blake and then marches down Blake to 27th and beyond.
How Dublin, Ohio Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day
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 2023.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA) and is a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter
Very useful information. New York is my favorite city for the travel.