St Patrick’s Day in Boston is one of the best parties outside of the Emerald Isle. Beantown experienced an extremely high immigration population from Ireland, and even generations later, each March 17 is a festive celebration of the city's heritage. The Boston St Patrick’s Day Parade is an annual favorite event in New England and features marching bands and top performers. In South Boston St Patrick’s Day is celebrated with the parade, incredible green costumes, and maybe even a pint or two of Ireland’s most famous export: Guinness.
South Boston St Patrick’s day brings visitors into the neighborhood known as Southie on the nearest Sunday to the 17th for the parade. (For instance, in 2009, the Boston St Patrick’s Day parade was held on Sunday, March 15 at 1 pm.) This allows more people to participate in the festivities of St Patrick’s Day in Boston. A great opportunity to explore Southie, the parade brings restaurants, pubs, and the street in general to life. Whether you have any Irish heritage or not, you’re sure to feel at home during the celebrations.
The most Irish neighborhood in the city has been home to the parade since 1901. In South Boston St Patrick’s Day begins at the Broadway T station, and concludes at Andrew Square. Visitors can expect colorful floats, upbeat Irish music, and imaginative ways of wearing the color green. Each year, more than 500,000 visitors arrive in Boston to join in on the festivities. While the parade began in 1901, the first St Patrick’s Day celebration in Boston took place in 1737. If you can’t make it to Ireland to celebrate, Boston is a great alternative.
St Patrick’s Day in Boston is much more than parades and a single day of festivities. Check out a comedy show, taste an Irish ale, or visit the Irish Cultural Center. This visit will make learning about Irish heritage a blast as you watch Irish dancing, listen to the music, and the kids can even partake in arts and crafts. One of your hardest choices will be deciding where to sit down for a pint and some corned beef and cabbage or other Irish specialty such as Irish stew and brown soda bread. Many pubs throughout the city put on special food and celebrations to show their Irish pride.
Beyond the 2016 Boston St Patrick’s Day parade there is also the Irish Heritage Trail to explore. The twenty sites of this trail expose some of the history of the Irish in America. Many visitors also choose to stop by the library of perhaps the most famous Irish-American, John F. Kennedy. Pubs in all areas of the city will host Irish bands, pour a perfect Guinness, and generally get into the spirit of this loved Irish holiday. A great experience for families, couples, or rowdy groups of friends, a St Patrick’s Day celebration is a great way to blow off some steam after a long winter. Great St Patrick's Day festivities can also be found in other cities around the US, including Savannah, Chicago, and New York City.
Image: Greater Boston CVB