Where to take your St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in 2016

The stretch from New Years Day to the arrival of warm weather in late April and early May often seems to drag on and on and on, to the point where we start losing our tempers at the smallest hint of snowfall. Thankfully there are a few pick-me-up celebrations that happen over that five month span that help make the drawn-out winter seem a little more bearable. I’m talking, of course, about Saint Patrick’s Day, a day when millions of Americans wear green to celebrate their Irish heritage and Guinness sees a huge spike in sales all around the world.

Although most people might not think to make a huge deal out of Saint Patrick’s Day, why not break out of your conventional lifestyle and celebrate this year with a small, impromptu road trip? There are plenty of great places to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, and it is the perfect excuse to visit a new city and discover a whole new culture and heritage. So this year, take the last few days of the week off work, pack up the family, and head out to any of these fun-filled, and historical festivals for your 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day.

1. Boston

The first destination on our list is one of the biggest Irish cities in the country: Boston, MA. 2016 will mark the 115th South Boston Saint Patrick’s Day celebration that will take place on Sunday, March 20th. Attendance for this one is expected to reach between 600,000 and 1 million people, so you will want to arrive early to get a good view of the parade, which runs between the Broadway MBTA station and Andrew Square.

2. Chicago    

The Windy City is also home to one of the largest populations of Irish and Irish decent in the United States. It is also home to one of the more famous Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in the country. Every year since 1962, city officials have, with the help of the local Leprechaun population, dyed the water in the Chicago River a brilliant Emerald Green. The parade, which features an ensemble of floats, dancers, bagpipers, and marching bands, is led by former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley and begins at noon in downtown’s Grant Park. If you’ve never been to Chicago, this is a great reason to see the city and experience a legitimate taste of Chicago.

3. Montreal

If you are looking for a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration that takes a little longer to get to, consider exploring Montreal’s 193rd Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Like Boston’s celebration, this one also takes place on Sunday, March 20th at 12pm and proceeds through downtown Montreal, beginning at the corner of Fort and Ste. Catherine. Festivities will be happening before and after the parade, with local restaurants, pubs, and venues serving Irish coffee and featuring musical groups throughout the day, so be sure to consider Montreal when deciding on a new place to visit. 

4. Savannah

Another unsuspecting place to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year is in beautiful, sun-filled Savannah, Georgia. Savannah plays host to the second largest Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in the country, attracting roughly 400,000 visitors every year. Lasting for several days, Savannah’s celebration has often been compared to that of Mardi Gras, except that public nudity will definitely get you arrested here. The celebration begins on March 17th, except in the event of it falling on Holy Week, and attracts visitors from every state and from countries around the world, so if you’re tired of the same old dreary weather that’s only made better by numbing shots of Jameson, consider paying the South a visit this year and enjoy a little sunshine on Saint Patrick’s Day.

5. New York City

New York City’s famous Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has been celebrated in the city since before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, making it the oldest Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States. The parade moves along 5th Avenue between 44th and 79th street, and goes right past Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. There are no floats included in the New York City celebration, but you can definitely get your fill of Irish dancers, bagpipers, and musical bands while you enjoy the lively culture of New York City. Best plan of attack: find a hotel in New Jersey and then take a bus into the city; you’ll definitely save money, time, and most importantly, frustration on your vacation.