St. Patrick’s Day is only 10 days away and whether your ancestors came from Ireland or not, the holiday can be a lot of fun, thanks in part to all the parades. Sure, the traditional Irish food and green beer help, but where else can you see grown men dressed as leprechauns dancing down the street? Cities across the country have their own St. Patrick’s Day parades, but some go all out and draw huge crowds.
These are the 10 most popular St. Patrick’s Day parades in the U.S.
- Chicago - With around 200-thousand Irish-Americans living there, The Windy City knows how to put on a St. Patrick's Day parade. The first one was held way back in 1843 and this year’s three-hour event will happen Saturday, March 11th, with hundreds of thousands of spectators watching, making it one of the biggest in the world. And those who come out early can watch the green dye added to the Chicago River at 10a.m.
- New York City - Dating back to 1762, The New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade features some 150-thousand folks marching in the event with as many as 2-million people watching from the sidewalks. NYC’s parade kicks off at 11a.m. on March 17th.
- Boston - While Chicago may have more Irish Americans total, Boston has more per capita with 20% of their population claiming family origins from Ireland. So it’s no surprise that the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade is legendary. It doesn’t just celebrate the holiday, but Evacuation Day as well because March 17th, 1776 was when Bostonians tossed British troops out of the city. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, March 19th starting at 1p.m.
- Denver - This Colorado city isn’t known for having a big Irish population, but that doesn’t keep them from putting on a four-hour event that draws as many as 400-thousand spectators. The 2023 Denver St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 9:30a.m. on Saturday, March 11th.
- Philadelphia - One of the country’s oldest St. Patrick's Day parades has been happening for more than 250 years in this Pennsylvania city. It returns to Philly on Sunday, March 12th, while what’s dubbed as “the country's largest St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl” happens the day before, on March 11th.
- Savannah - The Georgia city doesn’t dye its river green, but it does throw a good parade. The Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off on March 17th at 10:15 a.m. and is expected to draw more than half a million people to celebrate.
- Detroit - You’ll have to bundle up in Michigan to enjoy the Detroit St. Patrick's Day Parade, but 100-thousand spectators will be there on March 12th when it kicks off in Corktown, the city’s Irish community.
- Pittsburgh - Another Pennsylvania city with one of the most popular parades, the Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade gets underway this year on March 11th at 10a.m and as many as 350-thousand will line the streets to take it in.
- San Francisco - The 172nd edition of San Francisco's St. Patrick's Day Parade is happening on Saturday, March 11th at 11:30 and it’s said to be California’s largest.
- New Orleans - This Louisiana city loves a good parade and they basically offer three weeks of St. Patrick’s Day parades down in The Big Easy. If you can’t spend that long celebrating in NOLA, get your green on and check out the Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Parade that kicks off at 1p.m. on Saturday, March 11th.
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