The editors of RELAXnation love a great party and St. Patrick’s Day events certainly rank high on our “Best Ridiculous Reasons to Celebrate” list. So after much discussion, we’re happy to announce our top five picks for awesome places to party like an Irishman (or Irishwoman) on March 17th!
Let’s start with the mother of ‘em all, Boston! Boston held America’s first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 1737 and the city still boasts one of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades. But there’s more. In fact, we counted nine parades between March 5 and March 17. In addition to all that St. Patty’s Parade goodness, Boston boasts more Irish pubs than any other place in the U.S.. Start out at The Claddagh Pub, make friends with the locals and party on from there.
New York City
In 2011, NYC will boast its 250th St. Patrick’s Day Parade. That alone should give you a good enough reason to attend. Need more? How about this – three days of pub crawling. Yes, you heard us, THREE days. If you don’t think you can hang that long, you can choose to just participate in one or two. We recommend the “Official After Parade Pub Crawl.” Be sure to purchase your ticket ahead of time to receive a wrist band, cup, drinking map and access to food and drink specials.
Where else can you watch an ordinary river turn into a beautiful emerald shade of green? No where! So experience a one-of-a-kind St. Patty’s Day tradition with a trip to Chicago. And no worries if you can’t actually be on vacation ON St. Patrick’s Day – the world famous dyeing of the Chicago River always takes place on the Saturday nearest St. Patty’s Day. And luckily for us out-of-towners, so does the Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. So book your trip now to make a weekend adventure out of it!
Savannah may not be the first city you think of when you think St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, but that doesn’t mean it’s not well known for its Irish festivities. In fact, the southern city of less than 200,000 annually draws in more than 400,000 for their weeklong celebration! And in 2011, Savannah will mark its 187th St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade, which winds through Savannah’s Historic District, is not only one of the nation’s oldest, it’s also one of the largest. Another can’t miss tradition, the “dyeing of the fountains”, takes place several days before St. Patrick’s Day and serves as Savannah’s official kick-off celebration!
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Nicknamed the “World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” Hot Springs’ celebration is definitely for the wacky at heart. Complete with Irish belly dancers and the Irish Order of Elvis impersonators, the hour-long parade also features a celebrity Grand Marshall and World’s Largest Leprechaun!
So there’s our list of hip, happenin’ and wacky spots for you to check out this St. Patrick’s Day. And no matter your Irish party style, we’re sure that our list contains a little something for everyone. Still, we’d love to hear about your favorite spots! Please comment below!