St. Patrick’s Day 2016 is almost upon us and to get you set up for the celebrations, we take a look at some of the ways that different towns and cities all over the world like to celebrate March 17.
Needless to say this is not a full and absolute list, with such a vast array of communities around the world taking a day or a few to celebrate Irish culture. If you don’t see your local St. Patrick’s Day celebration listed here, please take a minute to tell us about it in the comment section at the bottom of the page!
Go with the flow in Chicago
One of the US's biggest parades took place last Saturday March 12 in downtown Chicago, featuring Grand Marshal Michael J. Madigan and the St. Patrick's Day Queen, Erin Mulcahy.
And how could we forget about the river dying? You can see a fantastic time-lapse video of the river dying process here.
The Chicago River has turned green for St. Patricks Day ���� �� Photographer David Sowa took to the skies in a helicop… pic.twitter.com/upi22jaJjP— Hombre GQ (@HombreGQ) March 12, 2016
Nashville keeps it country
Last Saturday Nashville hosted the second annual Music City Irish Fest offering free festivities between 11am and 1pm. Taking in place in Demonbreun, the celebration featured both local superstars and the some great Irish bands.
Literary leanings in New York
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t confined to 5th Avenue in New York but spread throughout the five boroughs with thanks to the Irish Art Center’s sixth Annual Book Day. Giving free books to New Yorkers from some of the most celebrated Irish authors, the handout will begin at 7am on March 17 until books run out. Locations to be revealed soon!
Tavern on the Green will also host a great post-Parade literary event featuring authors such as Malachy McCourt, Kathleen Donohoe and T.J. English.
Hot Springs - One of Dallas’ ten most beautiful women to be present
Not only will Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, be hosting the 13th annual shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world on March 17 but they also promise that one of “Dallas’ ten most beautiful women,” cheerleader Jacie Scott, will be present with the number of Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders also doubled for this years event.
And they will, of course, be joined by the annual troop of Irish Elvis impersonators! Activities will kick off at 4.30pm with a Blarney Stone Kissing Contest.
Breakfast in Boston
The country's second largest parade (just after New York) will take place in south Boston on March 20, viewed by between 600,000 and one million people every year. Starting at 1pm, the day will start with the Patrick's Day Breakfast at 9am, set to be attended by Irish-American Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Pittsburgh lead the way
Last Saturday Pittsburgh paid its own tribute to the Easter Rising, celebrating the city’s Irish heritage. With over 23,000 participants, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade was the highlight of a full week of Irish events taking place in the area featuring Pittsburgh-area marching bands, politicians, and a host of Irish-heritage groups.
The Pittsburgh 1916 Easter Rising Committee will feature more commemorative events throughout the year which you can find here.
Festival fun in Atlanta
Following parade in Atlanta last Saturday, you could head along to the follow-up festival in Colony Square for Irish dance and pipe band performances. Other options included a one day festival Meehan's or some fun for all the family with face-painting and a candy bar and Avalon's.
Scituate, Massachusetts, rises from the ashes
There were fears that Scituate, “the Irish Riviera,” wouldn’t go ahead with their St. Patrick’s Day Parade but with thanks to some intense fundraising, the March 20 celebrations are currently set to go ahead.
Offering the “Best St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the South Shore,” last Saturday they hosted the Mad Hatter’s Ball to kick of proceedings.
Happy St. Patricks Day from the parade in Scituate Harbor! pic.twitter.com/5hedLxBzqf— Scituate Television (@ScituateTV) March 16, 2014
Floats through San Francisco
Another big parade took place last Saturday, the 165th annual San Francisco parade, while a full-day festival took over the Civic Center. There was stiff competition between the 100s of colorful floats with yet another party, a block party this time, following up the main proceedings on Sunday.
Belen, New Mexico, feels the force
The celebrations take to the skies in Belen with their annual hot air balloon rally, on the go since 1984. Taking place this year between March 18 and March 20, the weekend will feature between 75 and 100 balloons, fun, food and this year, they will even be joined by an ominous Darth Vader balloon.
Two stages of fun in Austin
Between an outdoor tent and an indoor stage, Austin has a packed schedule for their celebration on March 17. Running from 3-9pm, there'll be Irish language workshops, laser tag, facepainting and a host of talented Irish dancers and musicians.
Missouri University of Science and Technology take on the snakes …
In a bizarre little practice you’re not likely to find on any Irish university campus, students in Missouri S&T apparently get two days off school out of a ten day celebration to engage in events involved bashing rubber snakes.
Bring your pets along in Saugatuck, Michigan
"Erin go Bark" is Saugatuck’s special pet-friendly Patrick’s Day Parade with prizes going for the best dressed dogs. The pooches certainly enjoyed their day out in green last Monday.
A colorful parade in Sacramento, California
Hundreds of marchers decked in green took to the streets in Sacramento last Saturday, joined by Irish and Highland dancers, pipe and drum bands, historic re-enactors and a variety of cultural organizations.
From dusk till dawn in Dublin. Ohio
Starting off their celebrations on March 12 with a pancake breakfast at 7am, Dublin, Ohio, hosted an inflation celebration before its main parade event and finally closed off ceremonies with the Blarney Bash music fun.
The Nation's St. Patrick's Day parade in Washington D.C.
Filing along Constitution Avenue, the two-and-a-half hour parade in D.C, is known as the Nation's parade. This year is was held on Sunday March 13.
The 7th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held in Hudson on March 17 at 1pm. Featuring the St. Patrick’s Day Queen and her Court, as well as celebrating Hudson’s Irishman of the Year at a dinner and dance.
CelticFest in Vancouver
Each year Vancouver holds a massive seven-day celebration of Celtic culture including performances from Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon, and plenty of whisky tastings along the way.
With many free events the highlight was the parade, taking place on Sunday March 13 and featuring award-winning pipe and drum bands, Celtic musicians, Scottish and Irish dancers, acrobats, stilt walkers, vintage cars, the Vancouver police motorcycle drill team and pipe band, fire and police dogs, and mounted horse drill teams.
The city also ran a St. Patrick’s Day five-km!
Cork City - The rebel county gets back to its roots
Join with the leaders of the 1916 Rising as Cork City celebrates “1916 The Legacy”. With actors from the local play ‘Revolution’ re-enacting scenes from 1916 and performing extracts from the Proclamation of the Irish Republic along the way, the city will pay fitting tribute to the anniversary year.
The parade will take place from 1pm to 2.45pm on Thursday March 17, through Cork City from the South Mall to the Grand Parade. Or you can watch it streamed live at www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie.
If you’re looking for further fun, you’ll find a live music stage at Grand Parade and traditional sessions throughout the city all through the weekend.
Ennis, County Clare - Search for the oldest Patrick in the Banner County
Do you have an old relative in Clare named Patrick? Think he could be the oldest? Let Ennis St Patrick's Day Festival know. They want him to be their Grand Marshal this March 17.
Once they have Patrick at the helm, Ennis will look forward to hosting Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann this August, starting the party early and showcasing why the Banner County is the perfect “County of Culture” through music and dance.
Letterkenny. Co. Donegal
Starting at 3pm on March 17, the parade in Letterkenny is one of the biggest in Ireland, this year celebrating “Ireland 100 Years On – The Rhythm of Our Nation”.
A rainbow city-themed carnival, a free concert in Custom House Square, and a special weekend in St. George’s Market, March 17 in Belfast is one of the best.
The drums beat early on Paddy’s Day on Achill Island with pipe bands waking up the neighborhood from 6am and march throughout the day!
Celebrate the Festival of Ireland in Edinburgh, Scotland
Finishing up on Sunday March 13, the festival celebrated the Irish in Edinburgh hosting its highlight last Saturday March 12 with the Crossover Concert featuring the Tannahill Weavers and Siamsoir Irish Dancers.
Copenhagen Town Hall Square will be taken over on March 17 at 3.30pm for a day of music and dance. Enjoy the talents of Trad Lads, one of Denmark’s most popular Irish bands, and Dark Green School of Irish Dancing, or the kids can get their face painted while you enjoy an Irish coffee.
A full green parade will begin at 5pm.
The Norwegian Irish Society will host their annual parade on March 19, followed by an evening of tapas and entertainment. There will be a special mass said in both English and Irish the evening before at St Olav’s Cathedral and on March 17 itself, musician, singer and songwriter Andy Irvine will play a solo concert at Riksscenen.
Head to the Emerald Village at Birmingham, England
Despite financial concerns earlier this year, the Birmingham festival once again saw the Emerald Village opening up at 1.30pm on March 13 with the St. Pat Rocks Stage, arts and crafts traders, and a kid’s area offering traditional Irish music lessons, arts, crafts, a pony petting area, and a Giant Puzzle. Their parade took place a few streets away on Sunday.
Hong Kong hosts Asia’s First Irish Festival
Building on the massive success of the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hong Kong last year, this city will host its second parade this year where at least 28 groups, including the Hong Kong Police Band, will march in their green attire.
With such success in 2015, the city’s Irish Consulate decided to host its own festival this year, the first of its kind in Asia, showing a program of Irish films and introducing hundreds of Irish products into supermarkets citywide.
On Sunday March 20, Tokyo will host its 24th annual parade at 1pm just two days after the dazzling Emerald Ball that will celebrate all things Irish.
They won’t be alone, however, with twelve Paddy’s Day parades taking place across the country in the coming days.
Auckland, New Zealand
Already enjoying a St. Patrick’s Day fair two weeks ago, last Sunday saw the main parade set to the streets of Auckland with Irish bands and dancers, leprechauns, and the NZ Rose of Tralee. The main parade was followed by a Fleadh featuring Sean Kelly and The Celtic Flyers, Connolly School of Irish Dance and The Doyle Academy of Irish Dance.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
As well as the annual parade taking place on March 12, Brisbane hosted a concert yesterday by the Queensland Irish Choir, holding a traditional music night straight after the parade and will celebrate mass in St. Stephen’s Cathedral on the feast day itself.
Go all out in Sao Paulo, Brazil
St. Patrick's Week in Sao Paulo takes place between March 11 and 20 in 2016 with music events and happy hours taking place in countless locations across the city.
Have we missed your favorite spot to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Let us know your plans!