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Enjoy Clover All over This St. Patrick’s Day

Green is the color of spring, and there’s no party greener than St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish roots run deep throughout the United States, and in cities throughout the country, St. Patrick’s Day has become a favorite way to celebrate Irish heritage and local community spirit. Groups can kick off spring with large parades, live music, traditional Irish food and plenty of great memories by visiting one of these famous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.


With a legendary Irish heritage, it’s little wonder that Boston has become one of the foremost destinations in the country for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Boston boasts the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration outside of Ireland, with more than half a million people visiting each year to enjoy the festivities.

History: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Boston are thought to have begun with a small parade in 1737, when Massachusetts was still an English colony.

Parade: There are several St. Patrick’s Day parades in the Boston area. The most famous, nicknamed the Southie, takes place in South Boston and features bagpipers, Irish bands, Irish dancers and thousands of other performers.

Other festivities: Irish music can be found throughout Boston around St. Patrick’s Day, including an annual performance by famed local Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys.

Washington, D.C.

The red, white and blue of Washington turns to orange, white and green on St. Patrick’s Day as locals and visitors come out for the famous Shamrock Festival. The celebration features live music from 50 Irish bands, as well as dance performances and a wealth of other activities.

History: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in D.C. began with a small parade in 1971 by the local Irish American Club.

Parade: The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade travels down Constitution Avenue and features two and a half hours of marching Irish bands, dancers, floats, military units, and police and fire department processions.

Other Festivities: St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect opportunity to visit several Washington landmarks with Irish roots, including the Embassy of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, the oldest parish in D.C.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.