Last week the ShamROCK Chicago Council told IrishCentral they were petitioning to have the Windy City named as the United States’ headquarters for all St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Now Boston have protested their petition. However, you have to wonder have both these great American cities forgotten about New York City?
The Big Apple boasts of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the United States. Established in 1762, the parade now plays host to over one million visitors annually. How could they possibly beat that?
The ShamROCK Council in Chicago seem pretty confident. Last week, a member of the council told IrishCentral, “More than any other city in the United States, Chicago exemplifies Irish pride.”
Jeremy Hogan, a spokesman for the group, said, “While other cities might claim older traditions or greater Irish populations, we can safely say that nobody outside of Dublin celebrates St. Patrick’s Day like Chicago does.”
The Bostonians admit they didn’t find this news easy to swallow. Speaking to BostInno, Dr. Robert Mauro, the director for the Irish Institute at Boston College and the Irish Network Boston argued against the ShamROCK arguments saying, “Boston is, of course, the top destination in the U.S. for St. Patrick’s Day.”
He continues saying that due to Boston’s compact size (50 square miles) its Irish culture is apparent immediately.
“If someone wants to take in a bit of Irish culture and visit the Burns Library at Boston College for the Yeats collection, grab a packet of Tayto in Brighton, and take in session at Mr. Dooley’s, it is all easily and comfortably done,” he told BostINNO.
Similarly, New York City is bringing it, with the history of Irish immigrants who helped to build the great city; from Annie Moore, the first emigrant documented to cross the threshold at Ellis Island to Irish American figures such as NYPD boss Ray Kelly and philanthropist Chuck Feeney. Every corner of New York has an Irish story to tell.
Of course, perhaps Boston is at an advantage as it can boast of the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade having been established in 1737. The first St. Patrick’s Day was held as a protest march for the low social status the Irish held in the city despite their numbers.
It is hard to see who could possibly be crowned with the honor of the official headquarters for St. Patrick’s Day among these three proud Irish American groups but what’s certain is that New York and Boston will give Chicago a fight for their money.