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Last year, to the delight of many revelers, we saw the return of much of the world’s St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivities. While for 2020 and 2021 many St. Patrick’s Day events were canceled entirely or greatly changed due to the pandemic, 2022 looked a little more “normal.”
Whether St. Patrick’s Day — with all its drunken fun, parades, music, and all things green — has been your favorite holiday forever, or you’ve never participated in these festivities before and you’re wanting to see what all the fuss is about, here are the 17 places you need to go to celebrate in 2023. Find a destination close to you, break out your finest green attire, and grab a Guinness because St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, will be here before you know it.
It’s no surprise at all that Dublin, Ireland, would be your go-to spot for all things St. Patrick’s Day. If you love St. Patrick’s Day, this destination at this particular time of the year should be on your bucket list.
For this 2023’s St. Patrick’s Day fun, Dublin is celebrating all weekend long, kicking things off on Thursday, March 16, and with the celebration lasting through Sunday, March 19. (It’s really the perfect excuse to take a long weekend off from work and hop a quick flight from the East Coast to Dublin!)
This year’s Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Festival includes a St Patrick’s Day Parade and the Festival Quarter, located at Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland Collins Barracks, will host a range of other can’t-miss events, including music and dance performances, a circus and more. You’ll also find lots of extra events taking place throughout the city (and, really, the entire country) on the same weekend.
Not too far away, in London, England, the city attracts more than a hundred thousand visitors with its St. Patrick’s Day Festival that takes place on Sunday, March 12. Because the festival, which kicks off in Trafalgar Square and offers arts, culture, food, music and — of course — a parade, is scheduled for the weekend before the official holiday, you could feasibly plan a trip to more than two destinations for St. Patrick’s Day. Start off with the weekend of March 10 in England, then hop on over to Ireland to finish off the fun the following weekend.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
There’s no need to board a transatlantic flight in order to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, though. Montreal, a traditionally French city, shows its Irish side on St. Patrick’s Day, with the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Canada, dating back to 1824.
The three-hour parade takes place on Sunday, March 19; this year’s parade is the city’s 198th. The fun starts at noon, with the parade route and its hundreds of floats running down Sainte-Catherine Street, from Fort Street to Metcalfe Street.
Related: 12 Best Irish Drinks To Enjoy On St. Patrick’s Day [Guide]
New York City
Of course, if you’re staying state-side, there’s no better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than New York City. With the largest St. Patrick’s parade in the world (yes, even larger than Dublin’s) and the oldest St. Patrick’s parade in the world, dating back to 1762, St. Patrick’s Day in New York City is an affair that stops the city in its tracks, demanding that visitors and locals alike join in on the fun. (So, in other words, if you’re not keen on St. Patrick’s Day, you might want to visit the Big Apple on another weekend.)
Grab your favorite green attire and get ready for a day of merriment on March 17, when the parade begins at 11 a.m., marching up Fifth Avenue between East 44th Street and East 79th Street.
Once the parade is over, you’ll find plenty of other fun throughout the city, too, whether you want to learn more about New York’s Irish connections or you just want to get sloshed on Irish whiskey or green beer.
While New York City may boast the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States, Boston boasts the largest percentage of Irish descendants. The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place Sunday, March 19, at 1 p.m., but don’t wait until Sunday to get into the St. Paddy’s Day spirit. You can also catch a Dropkick Murphys concert, participate in a St. Patrick’s Day 5k, or visit one of the many Irish pubs throughout the city.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Okay, while New Orleans may not be the first U.S. city that you might think about in terms of having a rich Irish heritage or culture, we all know one thing: New Orleans knows how to party and the city will take any excuse to do so. So, if you couldn’t make it to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras in February, stop in for St. Patrick’s Day in March. The French Quarter is the place to go, as the partying heart of the Crescent City.
New Orleans actually hosts multiple parades leading up to and on the weekend of St. Patrick’s, so you’ll have no trouble finding entertainment between rounds of Guinness or shots of Jameson.
After New York City and Boston, Chicago may be most well known in the United States for its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations — largely in part because the city dyes its rivers green for the big day. It’s really a sight to see, the Chicago River glowing ultra-bright green as it winds its way around the skyscrapers.
Get to the Windy City ahead of St. Patrick’s Day to see the river dying, as that takes place this year on Saturday, March 11, at 10 a.m. During your trip, try to get out on the green river, too, with a kayak or other boat tour. Then, stick around for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, also on Saturday, March 11, at 12:30. If you’re in town for the rest of the weekend, the South Side Irish Parade is on Sunday, March 12, as is the Northwest Side Irish Parade.
San Francisco, California
On the other side of the country, San Francisco hosts its St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, March 11, this year, with a block party and Irish Festival following on March 12. The parade usually attracts more than 100,000 visitors and includes Irish dancers, live music, local figures, etcetera, lasting for about two hours. The Irish Festival the next day, meanwhile, offers more live music and lots of great Irish food and drinks.
Related: How To Plan A Trip Along The Pacific Coast Highway [Guide]
Another destination that might seem a little odd for a St. Patrick’s Day parade and more fun, Tokyo, Japan, hosts a somewhat smaller parade than what you might find in the States or Europe, but it’s still a lot of fun and worth attending if you’re in this part of the world in mid-March.
The 2023 festivities take place on March 11 and March 12. In addition to the parade, there’s also an I Love Ireland Festival at Yoyogi Park Events Square, with Irish sports, music, dance, and food. The parade is on March 12.
Channel the Emerald Isle while in the Emerald City. The Irish fun starts early in Seattle, with Irish Week events kicking off Friday, March 10, and lasting all through March 18. There’s a Mayor’s Irish Week Proclamation Luncheon, the laying of the green stripe, an Irish Festival, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a St. Patrick’s Day Dash, and St. Patrick’s Day Dinner — plus more.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you’re in Latin America this time of the year, you can still find St. Patrick’s Day fun in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There are about half a million Irish descendants that call Argentina home. As such, Buenos Aires offers a parade, live music, and lots of drinks, typically the weekend following the holiday.
Auckland, New Zealand
While much of the world returned to St. Patrick’s Day festivities and fun like normal in 2022, Auckland, New Zealand, still stayed on the cautious side and canceled its normal St. Patrick’s Festival last year due to Covid-19 concerns. This year, though, the festival plans to return in March after its long hiatus.
The street party-style festival takes place Saturday, March 18, on Queen Street in Auckland, and it includes the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Southern hemisphere.
Apart from the parades you’ll find in Ireland and England, Germany hosts the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Europe. While the crowds aren’t as big as what you’ll find elsewhere, they’re still pretty substantial, in the thousands.
This year, St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Munich marks its 25th anniversary with two days of merriment, March 11 and 12. On March 11, enjoy a pre-parade with live music and plenty of beer. Then, on March 12, snag your spot to watch the full parade, which is just this year back from its Covid-19 hiatus. After the parade, the fun continues with more live music and a street fair.
In Savannah, Georgia, you’ll find the enthusiastic locals raring and ready to kick off their city-wide St. Patrick’s Day celebration for the 199th time. The 2023 parade takes place on March 17, but other fun includes the greening of the fountain at Forsyth Park (like Chicago’s river dyeing, just on a much smaller scale).
Kansas City, Missouri
In Kansas City, Missouri, the St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place on March 17 and typically welcomes a few hundred thousand spectators. Each year, the parade features a specific theme and the 2023 theme is ’23 in KC: Our Irish Ancestry.
The Denver, Colorado St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled for March 11, 2023, with things getting started bright and early in the morning, at 9:30 a.m. in downtown. If you aren’t up quite that early due to all the pre-St. Paddy’s Day drinking, don’t worry. There’s still other fun to be had later in the day, with a lineup of events that includes Irish-themed theatrical performances, a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl, and multiple St. Paddy’s Day parties.
Last up, Phoenix, Arizona, brings Irish flair to the Southwest with its 40th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Faire. The parade starts up at 10 a.m. on March 11, 2023, and then the Faire follows, with lots of Irish dance and Celtic music.
Not Seeing a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Your Neck of the Woods?
If your town or city didn’t make our list of the best places to go for St. Patrick’s Day parades, fairs, and other fun, check with your nearest Irish heritage club, society, or center to see if they have something planned. You can also plan to host your own St. Patrick’s Day party at home with some of these delicious Irish recipes to cook up for the holiday, from corned beef and cabbage to Guinness-inspired desserts.
St. Patrick’s Day 2023 FAQs
What day is St. Patrick’s Day 2023?
St. Patrick’s Day 2023 takes place on Friday, March 17.
Is St. Patrick’s Day always on March 17?
Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is always on March 17. Because it sometimes falls on a weekday, you’ll find that many cities and groups will host their St. Patrick’s Day parties or parades on the weekend preceding or following the actual holiday.
Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Today, St. Patrick’s Day may be more focused on wearing green, shamrocks, leprechauns, and drinking booze than anything else, but the holiday is traditionally intended to celebrate the patron saint Saint Patrick and Christianity’s arrival in Ireland.
You might also be interested in: A Mardi Gras History Lesson [And The 8 Best Places To Celebrate In 2022]
The 17 Best Places To Watch A St. Patrick’s Day Parade In 2023:
- Dublin, Ireland
- London, England
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- New York City
- Boston, Massachusetts
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Chicago, Illinois
- San Francisco, California
- Tokyo, Japan
- Seattle, Washington
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Munich, Germany
- Savannah, Georgia
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Denver, Colorado
- Phoenix, Arizona
Holly Riddleview post
Holly Riddle is a travel, food and lifestyle writer, and a full-time freelance content creator after several years on editorial staffs for a multitude of publications ranging in topic and audience demographic. She currently acts as the editor at large for Global Traveler magazine and is a regular contributor at Trazee Travel, WhereverFamily, TravelMag, CruiseHive and more. Ghostwritten work for travel clients has appeared on Forbes, Bloomberg, Inc. and other top publications. She also manages blogs for tour providers, hotels and tourism boards.view post