Where are the best St Patrick’s Day parades?

17 March will be a date to remember when we celebrate St Patrick’s Day, not only in Ireland but also around the world.

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Marches, parties, St Patricks Day gifts, green beer and even a green river will mark the occasion as everyone of Irish origin and a host of other celebrants enjoy the day.

There are parties in many countries, but Ireland and the United States will host some of the largest events.

Dublin

Those looking to kick off the day with presents for friends and family will find many options online at sites such as https://www.shamrockgift.com/st-patricks-day. Many of these will include symbols of Irish heritage and clothing associated with the Emerald Isle, including sporting apparel.

Dublin, of course, offers a special blend of the ‘craic’ on the big day and tops many travellers’ bucket list as a destination to celebrate the date. The city marks the occasion with days of celebrations, including its legendary parade.

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In 2020, the route runs from Parnell Square to St Patrick’s Cathedral. If you want a position on O’Connell Street, get there early!

The United States, home to much of the Irish diaspora, hosts three massive events:

NYC

New York City boasts the largest, dating back to 1762, before even the Declaration of Independence. Police figures suggest that as many as two million spectators enjoy the event. The parade, consisting of pipe bands and dancers, begins at the junction of 44th Street and 5th Avenue and passes St Patrick’s cathedral. Some 200,00 participants will march in an event lasting up to six hours.

Chicago

Although not the biggest event, Chicago takes some beating when it comes to marking the date, as it goes to the extreme of dyeing the Chicago river green! This tradition dates back to 1961. The parade, which lasts three hours, runs from Columbus Drive through Grant Park. Details of the 2020 event can be found on the organisers’ official site.

Boston

Finally, is there a more Irish city in the United States than Boston? With a significant Irish heritage, the city takes St Patrick’s day seriously and organises a series of events. Floats, music and enthusiastic crowds mark the day of the march. The 2020 route begins at West Broadway and ends at Dorchester Avenue, with any spot along Broadway the best position to view the parade.

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