Although St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday, it is celebrated in many parts of the world. While many people falsely believe that Paddy’s Day celebrations in the US are a fairly recent phenomenon, they look back on a long tradition. Some of the most well-known American St. Patrick’s Day parades – including the ones in New York City and Philadelphia, were even celebrated before the Declaration of Independence was signed or March 17 was made an official holiday in Ireland. Reason enough to get your green on and look for the best spots to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America.
St. Patrick’s Day in New York City
New York City is the place to be if you want to celebrate Paddy’s Day in the US. The parade has been taking place ever since 1737. Today it features about 200,000 participants – ranging from bagpipe players to local police departments – and attracts 2 million spectators, who line the streets of central Manhattan. This makes the parade in New York even bigger than the original one that is held in Ireland’s capital Dublin.
Cheap bus connection to New York
Boston, MA ↔ New York, NY, megabus US, $5
St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago
The festivities in Chicago might not be as big as the ones in New York, but a trip there in mid-March is still highly recommended for one good reason: The Chicago River is dyed green in honor of the special occasion. This has been done ever since 1962 when sewage workers used green dye in order to identify sewer discharges and came up with the idea which was then adopted in many other US cities as well.
Cheap bus connection to Chicago
Cleveland, OH ↔ Chicago, IL, megabus US, $15
St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans
Paddy’s Day in New Orleans is to some extent a Mardi Gras inspired adaptation of the Irish national holiday as some of the floats from Mardi Gras parades are reused to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In order to not lose the original intention of paying tribute to Irish culture, however, the spectators in New Orleans throw potatoes, cabbages, onions and carrots – the main ingredients of an authentic and hearty Irish stew.
Cheap bus connection to New Orleans
Houston, TX ↔ New Orleans, LA, megabus US, $14