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St. Patrick’s Day is fun in almost any city, Irish population or not, but there is a majesty that comes with a proper St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Parades, green, beer, corned beef, Irish Wolfhounds, and Celtic music are necessary, but a true Irish community and a pride for Irish heritage are what make it. The cities on this list know how to do St. Patrick’s Day right, and they are some of the best of the best at throwing a party.
After a classic downtown parade and celebration, Chicago creates quite the spectacle by dyeing the Chicago River green. With its large Irish-Catholic population, Chicago has many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations throughout the city with baseball, boats, anthems, and parties just topping the list.
One of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the country, Cleveland’s party boasts over 500,000 people spreading their Irish cheer. Unlike most of the parties on this list, Cleveland will always hold their celebration on the 17th, so you can make it from Pittsburgh’s on the weekend to Cleveland’s in time for a full glass of green beer and some of the best corned beef in the country at Slyman’s Deli.
The other cities on this list have large, extravagant parades, but Buffalo one-ups them. Why only have one parade for people to enjoy when you can have two equally large parades across the city? That’s just what they did. The “Old Neighborhood Parade” is in its 22nd year and the “Buffalo St. Patrick’s Day Parade” is in its 73rd consecutive year. Talty’s Tavern holds a fun parody parade that lasts a block.
For over thirty years, Philly has offered a massive drinking party, but it is surprisingly safe. Over twenty bars offer free designated drivers and public transportation to guarantee the guaranteed-drunk masses can make it to their house or hotels safely. Even more unique, Philly makes the party a 2-weekend event with St. Practice Day the weekend before.
The greenest city in the country celebrates St. Patrick’s Day all year, but the actual St. Patrick’s Day celebration is way bigger. Between 600,000 and one million viewers live and countless more online and on television make Boston an awesome St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Boston’s is a very classic celebration steeped in tradition and all the green beer you can drink.
The second-largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country and an entire week of festivities celebrates the city with the highest Irish population. The parade has 23,000 participants and eighteen marching bands. The entire Steel City parties in green as hundreds of thousands of people flock the streets from dawn to dusk.