Cities around the world are glowing 190 shades of green today in honor of the patron Saint Patrick. In fact, many famous landmarks, like the iconic Las Vegas ‘Welcome’ sign or Rio’s ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue, glow a stunning shade of the traditional emerald. This worldwide holiday, started in honor of the Saint’s death, is celebrated in many different ways, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today.
Whether you’re natively Irish, of Irish descent, or just enjoy the green-themed day o’ drinking you’re more than welcome to join in on the festivities. Fortunately for you many different kinds are offered, and we’re going to share with you the best ones! So pack your bag, get to the airport, and open up your laptop because we’re about to direct you to your holiday weekend, non-rev destination.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN IRELAND
I mean, we know this is an obvious suggestion, but it’s a classic – which is why we decided to start with it! Of course the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can be found here, and many people flock to the small country because of it (sometimes to the dismay of the locals). Dublin is the hub of the festivities, and celebrates right with parades, marching bands, fanfares, and endless live music. Expect a more traditional experience, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of green beer.
If Dublin isn’t your speed (or you’re going for a more wholesome experience) check out Kilkenny City, one of the country’s most beautiful historic cities. Here you’ll encounter traditional Irish music, dances, workshops and many other family activities. Killarney is another more traditional option. This picturesque town is adjacent to renowned Killarney National Park, and offers one of the country’s most colorful parades.
Finally, if you just want to cut loose, but can’t find a hotel in Dublin, check out the city’s competitor – Cork. Ireland’s second largest city boasts that it’s the place to be on St. Patrick’s weekend. Celebrations here are boisterous and the parade is short; in fact Cork holds the title for the shortest St. Patty’s parade in the world. To see one of the many other Irish cities that celebrate this day click here.
IRISH CELEBRATIONS IN THE USA
The United States is huge, and people celebrate the green day all throughout it, so here we limited it down to the top few spots. New York City boasts the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the world (no surprise there, NYC). Since 1762 people have lined up on Fifth Avenue to see the green extravaganza that often lasts over 5 hours. See artists perform, take a tour of the Irish mob’s local history, or spend it sober. As you might expect, this city literally offers it all.
Other big northwestern cities also celebrate in a large way. Visit Pittsburg’s historic festivities, one of the oldest celebrations in the US, or see Boston where every other person you meet is of Irish ancestry (one of the highest percentages in the United States). In the midwest you’ve got Chicago that gets so into the holiday that they dye their river green.
In the south and southwest there’s an abundance of celebration options. Phoenix, in an attempt to preserve and enhance the heritage and traditions of Irish Culture, offer marching bands, step dancers, and more. Also check out Savannah’s massive commemoration that attracts hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, each year. It’s 190 years old and still going strong as one of the largest partys in the world.
Our personal favorites are the offered right here in our home state of Texas. The Lower Greenville area of Dallas puts on a proper Texas-styled parade, complete with a concert. Grapevine (renowned for its Christmas celebration) offers Beertopia. It’s only in its 9th year, but locals rave about it!
If you’re an American and looking to get out of the US (but not go too far) you should check out the St. Paddy’s celebrations in Puerto Rico or Canada. Puerto Rico’s Irish immigrants played a large role in its historical upbringing. Consequently St. Patrick’s Day has become a massive holiday, island-wide. As of recent the city of Luquillo has hosted the largest festival on the island.
When it comes to Canada make sure you visit Montreal. Neither rain nor shine ever stops the three-hour parade hosted there! Similarly so, Toronto hosts a massive parade which includes a Grand Marshal’s Ball. Both are great options if you’re looking to party in the great white north.
If you’re thinking you’d rather celebrate in Europe you’ve got a few pretty amazing options. Berlin is new to the green holiday but it is quickly catching up on the traditions. It’s got everything you’d expect it to (parades, concerts, and green beer) plus the beer-garden factor. In Prague you can celebrate around the Caffrey’s Irish Bar, and in Paris you can get lost in one of the many cozy Irish pubs to have a Lá Fhéile Phádraig (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)!
Finally, if none of the above-mentioned cities particularly excite you, look into Auckland, Rio de Janeiro, and Singapore. They all offer the traditional pubs, parades, and festivals. Auckland actually has a trust put aside to assure their celebration is one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere! Singapore’s parade is the only official one in southeast Asia, and more than 3,000 people take part!
That’s it for this one, Interliners! Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, no matter where you might celebrate them. Discover a new spot to wear the green? Let us know below in the comments, we’d love to hear about your experience! Until next time, travel and celebrate safe, and keep your eyes on the skies.
Author: Emily (@ID90 Travel)
Emily is the Content Marketing Specialist here at ID90 Travel. An avid non-rev flyer (she grew up in the industry), and passionate private pilot, Emily can’t get enough of all things aviation. When not writing awesome ID90 Travel content she can be found on a Texas patio, being one with nature, or annoying her ID90T co-workers with her many, many, crowdsourcing questions.