Top Five St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations
No matter what your personal heritage may be, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to bring out your inner Irish side. With millions of Irish immigrants and their descendants spread across the globe, March 17 is one of the most celebrated days worldwide. From parades and festivals, to dancing and drinking, St. Patrick’s Day honors Ireland’s foremost patron saint with a joyful spirit. There are countless celebrations for the holiday all over the world, but the following five cities take the merriment to another level for the most epic St. Patrick’s Day parties around:
New York City
Although other U.S. cities with large Irish communities like Boston and Chicago hold gigantic parties for St. Patrick’s Day, New York City is home to the country’s, not to mention the world’s, biggest celebration on March 17. The city has hosted a St. Patrick’s Day parade since 1762, which makes the high-energy tradition older than the United States! Over two million people gather each year to take part in the festivities, which kick off with a massive parade that makes its way up Fifth Avenue, starting on 44th Street and ending on 79th, and lasts around six hours. The parade features bagpipes, bands and dancers with between 150,000 and 250,000 participants each year, and makes a stop, most appropriately, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
It should come as no surprise that Dublin, Ireland holds a gigantic five-day-long St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that includes music and street performances, boat races, and the Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival. Of course, a parade takes place on St. Patrick’s Day itself, which draws around half a million onlookers to witness the march from Parnell Square to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. To give the city even more Irish charm, major landmarks including the Natural History Museum and St. Patrick’s Cathedral are lit up in green.
As home to the fifth-largest Irish community anywhere on Earth, it’s no wonder that Buenos Aires, Argentina holds the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations found in South America. A street festival honoring St. Patrick takes up 10 blocks of the city on Reconquista Street, where local Irish pubs, music and dancing provide gleeful entertainment, while the yearly parade includes a leprechaun costume contest and plenty of Celtic music.
Held the Sunday prior to St. Patrick’s Day, London’s annual parade includes floats and marching bands that journey a 1.5-mile path from Green Park to Trafalgar Square. In addition, you can find musical performances, film festivals, a fashion show and a food market at the all-day festival held at Trafalgar Square. Of course, you can also pop into one of several nearby Irish pubs and take part in various St. Patrick’s Day-themed events.
This Canadian city, whose flag features a shamrock in it’s lower-right quadrant, is home to one of the biggest and longest-running St. Patrick’s Day parades in North America. With a large local Irish population, the United Irish Societies of Montreal has organized the festivities dating back to 1929. Even more impressive, the annual parade has taken place since 1824, while St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here date all the way back to 1759!
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