America is proudly among the world’s largest melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and racial backgrounds, a largely diverse country full of many different traditions and holidays. On one special day a year, the greenest holiday of them all, citizens across the United States claim they come from the same place: Ireland. Forget about wearing green - if you don't claim to have just one ounce of Irish blood in you on March 17, you'll get pinched all the way back to your irrelevant homeland!
So don your leprechaun hat, green knickers and a shamrock pin or two, and check out one of these top destinations to celebrate the man who drove all the snakes out of Ireland 16 centuries ago!
Savannah, Ga.: If you believe in everything – and we mean everything – being green on St. Patrick’s Day, Savannah may be right for you! Boasting green dyed water fountains at their three-hour-long parade, these Southerners have attendances breaking 400,000.
New York City: Organized in 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British army, NYC claims the largest-attended parade in America, with over two million festive folks sticking around for a nearly six-hour walk through the city’s biggest streets. Believe it or not, this family-friendly parade has a strict no-alcohol policy, but attendees can stop by any one of NYC’s many pubs afterwards to celebrate in the best way the Irish know how!
Chicago: Ever wondered what a massive body of water would look like if it were green? Here’s your chance! Come out to the parade at 10 a.m. to watch the Chicago River being dyed from the bridges at Michigan Avenue. This year’s Grand Marshal will be John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Boston: You would think that Dublin, Ireland would be the first to host an official St. Patrick’s Day Parade, but in typical American fashion, we beat them at their own game! Established in 1737, the world’s first St. Paddy’s Parade is still going strong year after year in America’s most Irish state – with 20% of the population being of Irish descent.
Washington, D.C.: America’s capitol is no stranger to massive festivities! The city’s Shamrock Festival invites over 50 Irish performers – whether they be dancers, bagpipers or folk musicians – for an all-day celebration. This year’s lineup includes Irish rock band Dropkick Murphys and countless schools of Irish dance!
St. Louis: Stuck in the Midwest for the holiday? Never fear! St. Louis holds one of the best of the Midwest parades, with local dancers and musicians lining the streets of Dogtown, a historically Irish neighborhood named after the mines with which it was once populated.