Things to Do on St Patrick’s Day

There are almost too many things to do on St Patrick’s Day to even know where to start! St Patrick’s Day activities have expanded from the traditional parades to include street fairs, carnivals, art exhibitions, dance performances, and, of course, a special price on a pint of Guinness. Whether your interest is music or dance, food or Irish whiskey, you’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy on Paddy’s Day. Cities across four continents plan their celebrations for months in advance, often including an impressive Saint Patrick’s Day parade. So if you find yourself in Dublin or Auckland, among other destinations, head out for a festive day of celebrating Irish culture.

Most things to do on St Patrick’s Day don’t involve honoring the patron saint of Ireland. What began as a religious holiday has developed into a cultural one, where music, dance, food, and hospitality all take center stage. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is a favorite element of the celebration in cities across the globe. Whether you are in Galway or New York City, where Paddy’s day is celebrated on March 17, or another city such as Boston, New Orleans, or Savannah, where it is celebrated on the weekend closest to March 17, you are sure to be impressed by the floats, creative costumes, and music that dominate the holiday.

St Patrick’s Day activities have expanded over the years beyond the parade and the actual holiday. Many cities throughout the world now host Paddy’s Day festivals that extend the celebration from a day to several days or a week in some cases. Vancouver hosts a Celtic Fest featuring art, film, and music with Celtic origins, while Washington DC is home to the popular Shamrock Fest. Seattle has their Irish festival and Chicago goes as far to dye the river a bright emerald green. Over the years displays of Irish pride have gotten bigger and bolder, and there’s no sign of slowing down!

The most popular things to do on St Patrick’s Day 2017 include attending the parade and sitting down in an Irish pub or a meal or a pint. Ireland is famous for its black stout such as Guinness, and also for Irish coffee and Jameson Irish Whiskey. Don’t worry—there will be plenty of grub to go along with your drinks, and you can often choose from classics such as Irish stew with brown soda bread to more gourmet options such as artisanal Irish cheeses. While the country may not have the world's best reputation for food, if you take the time to celebrate in Dublin or Galway you’ll learn that this reputation is falsely earned. Irish food may be simple, but it is tasty, hearty, and satisfying.

Of all the St Patrick’s Day activities, it is essential to include music. Both traditional Irish song and more contemporary music will be performed and played during Paddy’s Day festivities. Music is central to Irish life, and these performances are sure to transport you to the shores of the Emerald Isle. From the Saint Patrick’s Day parade to live music, from Guinness to comedy shows, there is no end to the celebrations of Ireland’s national holiday. Cities plan activities that are both family friendly and adults-only, so anyone can get involved in the year's festivities.

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