10 Places to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the USA

Experience all things Irish this St. Patrick's Day in one of these American cities.

U.S. News & World Report

10 Places to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the USA

People cheer along the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in New York on March 17, 2014.
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(Getty Images)

New York City

It may not come as a shock that America's most populous city also hosts the country's largest St. Patrick's Day celebration. Skip the crowds at New York's hours-long parade in favor of an authentic dose of Irish culture at the Irish Arts Center's Annual St. Patrick's Open Day, which offers everything from tin whistle and tap-dancing lessons to face painting and Gaelic football.
A woman wearing green shamrocks in her hair on Saint Patrick's Day.
Credit

(Getty Images)

O'Neill, Nebraska

Home to the world's largest shamrock, the small city of O'Neill doubles in size come mid-March. Once you've gotten your fill of the town's massive painted shamrock, enjoy some of O'Neill's unconventional St. Patrick's Day events, such as a dodgeball tournament and a hypnosis show.
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Irish flags on display outside a building in Dublin in preparation for the St Patrick's Day celebrations.
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(Getty Images)

North Kansas City, Missouri

Though North Kansas City's annual celebration goes by the name of Snake Saturday (in honor of an Irish legend about St. Patrick driving pagans, or snakes, out of Ireland), no snakes are involved. Instead, revelers participate in a variety of St. Patrick's Day activities, including a charity cook-off, a lad and lassie contest for kids and a two-day carnival.
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See which U.S. cities host the ultimate St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Whether you're looking to embrace your Irish roots or you just want to don your greenest attire and have a bit of fun, you'll have your pick of festivities this St. Patrick's Day. Across America, cities large and small go all out for the occasion, offering everything from parades to quirky traditions, such as funeral parodies and sports tournaments. Here are 10 U.S. destinations that do St. Paddy's Day right.

Boston

Boston reigns supreme as the country's most Irish-American city, with the highest percentage of people of Irish descent, according to findings from the U.S. Census Bureau. So, it probably comes as no surprise that Beantown hosts the country's third-largest St. Patrick's Day parade, drawing about 1 million spectators annually. Apart from the annual parade, Boston features an array of St. Paddy's Day events, including an Irish film festival and a six-day concert series with Dropkick Murphys, a local Irish punk band.

Savannah, Georgia

While Savannah may not be the first destination to come to mind when mapping out your St. Patrick's Day plans, annual traditions like dyeing the water green in Forsyth Park's fountain and tailgating before the historic parade help make the city one of the country's most popular places to celebrate the holiday.

New London, Wisconsin

For those looking to enjoy a St. Patrick's Day experience unlike any other, a visit to New London is a must. Situated about 40 miles west of Green Bay, Wisconsin, this quaint city stands out thanks in part to its quirky St. Paddy's Day festivities, which include leprechauns changing the city signs to read "New Dublin" and locals putting on an Irish funeral parody, complete with a mock funeral procession, an antique hearse and coffin theatrics.

Chicago

The Windy City's annual dyeing of the Chicago River has become one of the world's most recognized St. Patrick's Day traditions. The annual ritual dates back to 1961 when Stephen Bailey, the manager of Chicago's local plumbers union, saw a plumber's white overalls stained the perfect shade of green while pouring dye into the river to detect sanitation leaks. After making this discovery, Bailey suggested using the dye for future St. Paddy's Day celebrations. Childhood friend and former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley agreed, sparking an annual tradition that continues to this day. In fact, this practice is so celebrated that the city's river dye formula is a closely guarded secret.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

One unique St. Paddy's Day parade takes place in Hot Springs. Featuring amusing attractions like Irish Elvis impersonators, a kissing contest with the Arkansas Blarney Stone and the world's largest inflatable leprechaun, Hot Springs' annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade draws 30,000 visitors, even though the parade procession only travels a mere 98 feet.

North Kansas City, Missouri

Though North Kansas City's annual celebration goes by the name of Snake Saturday (in honor of an Irish legend about St. Patrick driving pagans, or snakes, out of Ireland), no snakes are involved. Instead, revelers participate in a variety of St. Patrick's Day activities, including a charity cook-off, a lad and lassie contest for kids and a two-day carnival.

New York City

It may not come as a shock that America's most populous city also hosts the country's largest St. Patrick's Day celebration. Skip the crowds at New York's hours-long parade in favor of an authentic dose of Irish culture at the Irish Arts Center's Annual St. Patrick's Open Day, which offers everything from tin whistle and tap-dancing lessons to face painting and Gaelic football.

O'Neill, Nebraska

Home to the world's largest shamrock, the small city of O'Neill doubles in size come mid-March. Once you've gotten your fill of the town's massive painted shamrock, enjoy some of O'Neill's unconventional St. Patrick's Day events, such as a dodgeball tournament and a hypnosis show.

Enterprise, Alabama

For a condensed version of a traditional St. Patrick's Day parade, head to Enterprise in southeast Alabama. Each year, this small Southern town puts on a celebration billed as the world's smallest St. Patrick's Day parade, which features only one participant who dances and sings along the parade route.

New Orleans

The Big Easy may be famous for its iconic Mardi Gras festivities, but come March, New Orleans embraces its lesser-known Irish heritage. On St. Patrick's Day, the city hosts a variety of block parties and parades, including the Irish Channel Parade, which features parade participants throwing Irish stew ingredients, such as cabbage, potatoes and carrots, into the crowd.
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Christine Smith, Editor

Christine Smith is an Editor for the Travel section at U.S. News, where she manages the annual ...  Read more

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