St. Patrick's Day Chicago
St. Patrick's Day Chicago by Max Talbot-Minkin (CC BY)

The Best St. Patrick's Day Celebration in Every State

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St. Patrick's Day Chicago
St. Patrick's Day Chicago by Max Talbot-Minkin (CC BY)

it's easy being green

You don't have to go to Ireland to enjoy this holiday. While many holidays encourage us to stay home and spend time with family, St. Patrick's Day is all about going out. Whether you prefer hitting the bars or attending a parade, there are loads of good reasons to get out and celebrate America's Irish heritage in every state, so here are our favorite events happening in each.
St. Patrick's Day at O'Daly's in Mobile, Alabama
odalysirishpub/facebook.com

alabama

Mobile
This festive Gulf Coast town is no stranger to parades, and their St. Patrick's Day parade proceeds through downtown following a morning Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The holiday fun continues at nearby O'Daly's Irish Pub, where customers can participate in weekend-long activities ranging from the keg 'n' eggs breakfast and a 5K run to live music playing until the green champagne toast at midnight.

Shamrock Shuffle in Anchorage, Alaska
skinnyravensports/facebook.com

alaska

Anchorage
Alaska doesn't have much in the way of St. Patrick's Day parades, but active Anchorage residents can ring in the holiday weekend at the Shamrock Shuffle fun run for admission rates up to $45. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. on March 16 and ends at the same location in front of the Bear Tooth Theatre Pub, where runners will receive a free pint glass for one well-earned fill and watch the awards presentations.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Phoenix, Arizona
StPatricksDayPhoenix/facebook.com

arizona

Phoenix
Arizona's biggest city hosts the state's biggest St. Patrick's Day celebration, with a parade through downtown starting at 10 a.m. on March 16 complete with bagpipers, marching bands, Irish dancers, and other performers, followed by a fair at the Irish Cultural Center costing $8 per ticket. The fair boasts three stages for live music, Irish step-dancing lessons, and a VIP lounge hosting a statewide Irish Red Craft Beer competition.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hot Springs, Arkansas
Courtesy of shorteststpats.com

arkansas

Hot Springs
Hot Springs' Bridge Street Parade on March 17 has the unique honor of being the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day parade, with a route lasting only 98-feet, packed full of leprechauns and Elvis impersonators. This year the DJ tWitch, featured on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," will be the parade's official starter, while Smash Mouth and Three Dog Night will provide tunes for the night before and immediately after the parade, respectively.

San Diego shamROCK Festival in San Diego, California
Carmen V./yelp.com

california

San Diego
The largest St. Patrick's Day parade west of the Mississippi occurs in sunny San Diego, where more than 30,000 spectators will amass to see 120-plus parade entries commemorate Irish culture over two hours this Saturday, March 16. The Gaslamp Quarter nearby hosts the 21-and-older San Diego shamROCK festival for a steep admittance fee ($40 general admission), but frugal revelers can instead head to Balboa Park before the parade for a flag raising ceremony, or after for a gathering of food vendors, live entertainment, and Irish brews lasting until 6 p.m.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Denver, Colorado
stpatsparadeday/facebook.com

colorado

Denver
Denver's St. Patrick's Day parade is the city's largest throughout the year, and one of the most well-attended events for the holiday west of the Mississippi. More than 10,000 participants will walk the route through downtown and ending beside Coors Field for the parade this March 16.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Greenwich, Connecticut
carminesalvatore/istockphoto

connecticut

Greenwich
Much of Connecticut cedes its celebrations on St. Patrick's Day to the larger festivities taking place in the Big Apple nearby, but this smaller parade starts from the Greenwich town hall at 2 p.m. one week after the holiday itself, complete with Shriners, kilted bagpipers, and drum lines. The event is led by a grand marshal elected by the Greenwich Hibernian Association and also features clowns, floats, and Irish wolfhounds among the marchers.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Wilmington, Delaware
DelawareIrish/facebook.com

delaware

Wilmington
The Irish Culture Club of Delaware holds its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade through downtown Wilmington on March 16, so locals can still attend the larger events in Boston and New York the next day. Bands and dance groups perform briefly at the parade's end, where there will also be a tent set up for the traditional "Hooley," or party, featuring commemorative beer mugs with free refills.

Mayor's River O' Green Festival in Tampa, Florida
TampaGov/facebook.com

florida

Tampa
Celebrate Irish pride Florida-style in Tampa, which hosts the Mayor's River O' Green Festival on March 16, which kicks off by dying the Hillsborough River a festive emerald and continues with live Celtic music, carnival games, scavenger hunts, and a Leprechaun costume contest. The festivities continue a streetcar ride away at the Rough Riders' annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, starting at 7 p.m. in nearby Ybor City.

fountain during St. Patrick's Day in Savannah, Georgia
Courtesy of visitsavannah.com

georgia

Savannah
March is one of the most popular times to visit this charming Southern city because of its St. Patrick's Day festivities lasting the whole month long, when even the city fountains turn green. The world's third-largest parade in honor of the holiday runs on March 16 this year and is accompanied by a two-day street festival starting the day before featuring live music, food, giveaways, and interactive artist exhibits all over downtown Savannah.

St. Patrick's Day at Murphy's Bar & Grill in Honolulu, Hawaii
Courtesy of murphyshawaii.com

hawaii

Honolulu
Several miles removed from the family-friendly parade in Waikiki, Murphy's Bar & Grill boasts a more adult-oriented atmosphere for the "grandest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the Pacific." On March 17, there will be food and beverage booths featuring corned beef and fresh-shucked oysters, face painting, storytelling, crafts, and, starting at 4 p.m., an outdoor block party with dancing and live DJs.

St. Patrick's Day Fun Run in Boise, Idaho
TVFamilyYMCA/facebook.com

idaho

Boise
Runners come decked out in green to compete for the award of best-dressed leprechaun at Boise's YMCA-sponsored St. Patrick's Day Fun Run on March 16, which offers several course options for different skill levels costing $25 for adult registration. The event routes proceeds along the Boise River Greenbelt before ending with awards presentations and post-race munchies provided by the Treasure Valley Dietitians.

St. Patrick's Day Chicago
St. Patrick's Day Chicago by Max Talbot-Minkin (CC BY)

illinois

Chicago
Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day parade features marching bands, floats, and a St. Patrick's Day queen to represent the Irish community. The celebration is perhaps best known for dyeing the Chicago River, which is turned a brilliant green "identical to the greens of Ireland." Always held on a Saturday, this year the parade falls on March 16.

St. Patrick's Day Celebration in Indianapolis, Indiana
IndyStPats/facebook.com

indiana

Indianapolis
Downtown Indianapolis' St. Patrick's Day Celebration begins on March 14 with the "Greening of the Canal." The town's emerald waterways are then just festive enough for the next day's 90-unit parade and accompanying block party, where there will be live Celtic music, food trucks, giveaways from event host the Hoosier Lottery, and an award given for Irish citizen of the year.

Quad Cities' Grand Parade in Davenport/Quad Cities, Iowa
Courtesy of visitquadcities.com

iowa

Davenport/Quad Cities
The Quad Cities' Grand Parade — the nation's only interstate St. Patrick's Day parade — actually begins in Illinois but soon proceeds across the Mississippi River and ends with a post-parade bash in Davenport, where trophies are presented to the parade winners. On March 16 this year, the parade will feature the usual marching bands, decorated floats, and novelty entries, plus walking units composed of Irish extended families.

2009 St. Patrick's Day parade in Delano
2009 St. Patrick's Day parade in Delano by Ty Nigh (CC BY)

kansas

Wichita
Wichita's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade proceeds through the Delano neighborhood at noon this March 16 with holiday festivities in the area before and after. There will be a "Paddy's Parade Pit Stop" along the route with DJs, food trucks, and yard games, as well as a flea market at the Century II Convention Center across the river.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Lexington, Kentucky
LexStPatsParade/facebook.com

kentucky

Lexington
On March 16, downtown Lexington has a whole day of Irish-themed festivities planned, starting with the 3K Shamrock Shuffle at 8 a.m. to benefit the local Habitat for Humanity. That's followed by an 11 a.m. festival featuring local pipe bands, dancers, and the traditional "Blessing of the Keg" before the requisite St. Patrick's Day parade begins at 1 p.m.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in New Orleans, Louisiana
IrishChannelStPatricksDayParade/facebook.com

louisiana

New Orleans
A great place for free fun, New Orleans knows how to throw a holiday party. Naturally, the South's largest port of entry for Irish immigrants holds multiple activities in the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day. On March 16, the Irish Channel Parade proceeds through uptown and ends near the Tracey's Pub holiday party featuring green beer and corned beef galore, while on the holiday itself additional parades run through the French Quarter and the neighboring suburb of Metairie. As an added bonus in the Crescent City this time of year, there are also numerous festivities celebrating St. Joseph's Day (March 19).

Paddy's Day Plunge in Portland, Maine
facebook.com/riraportland

maine

Portland
Now one of Portland's most popular seasonal traditions, the Paddy's Day Plunge sees dozens of fearless participants wade into the ice-cold waters off East End Beach at 5:30 a.m. on March 17, raising funds for the Portland Firefighters Children's Burn Foundation. Swimmers are rewarded afterward at Rí Rá's Irish Pub with a complimentary Irish breakfast, live auction, raffle, and an awards presentation to the year's top fundraisers.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Baltimore, Maryland
BaltimoreParade/facebook.com

maryland

Baltimore
With Annapolis' Irish Weekend taking a break this year, the Baltimore area offers the state's most notable family- and adult-oriented St. Patrick's Day events for 2019. On March 16, the Kegs & Eggs Rally entertains 21-and-over attendees with EDM DJs, green beer, and go-go dancers for admission prices starting at $30, while a standard kid-friendly parade proceeds at 11 a.m. in nearby Dundalk. Then on the 17th, drinkers can visit the Rams Head bar in Glen Burnie for live music and special deals on green beer and 50-cent Guinness from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009
St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009 by Adam Pieniazek (CC BY)

massachusetts

Boston
Beantown is one of the first cities to come to mind when Americans think about St. Patrick's Day — and for good reason. More than 20 percent of its residents claim Irish heritage, so it's no wonder the city goes all out for the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade. This year's will be held on March 17, featuring festive costumes, music, food, and floats.

Related: The Best Things To Do In Boston

Irish on Ionia in Grand Rapids, Michigan
IrishonIonia/facebook.com

michigan

Grand Rapids
Irish on Ionia, Michigan's biggest St. Patrick's Day street festival, starts early at 7 a.m. on March 16 and goes until at least 10 p.m. across three city blocks in downtown Grand Rapids, featuring a buffet-style Kegs & Eggs breakfast, Irish street food, a Shamrock paper scissors tournament (get it?), three stages of live music, and Celtic dancers, bagpipers, and circus performers. Admission for the 21-and-over event starts at $25 per person until the day before.

St. Patrick's Day Parade Minneapolis
St. Patrick's Day Parade Minneapolis by Chris Gallevo (CC BY-NC-ND)

minnesota

Minneapolis
No matter the oft-frigid weather, Minneapolis holds its St. Patrick's Day parade and associated celebrations every year, in this case on March 16, with operations fully funded by the associated volunteer organization through beads and buttons sales. The 51st annual parade starts at 6:30 p.m. on the Nicollet Mall and will feature a "Ms. Blarney" contest highlighting participants' aid to the diabetic community.

Grillin' on the Green in Biloxi, Mississippi
biloximainst/facebook.com

mississippi

Biloxi
The emphasis is on Gulf Coast rather than Irish cuisine at Biloxi's annual Grillin' on the Green this March 16, where guests can enjoy the delicious spoils of ribs, briskets, and grilled oysters from the big barbecue competition for $5 a plate. There will also be live string and brass band entertainment, and arts & crafts vendors operating right on the city's scenic waterfront.

Snake Saturday Parade in Kansas City, Missouri
SnakeSaturdayParade/facebook.com

missouri

Kansas City
A myriad of casual pub parties and two separate parades fill up Kansas City's St. Patrick's Day weekend. On March 16, the Snake Saturday Parade kicks off in north K.C. at 11 a.m. with a carnival area afterward and cook-off the night before, all in service of fundraising for local charities. On March 17, the St. Patrick's Day Parade is led by a lone bagpiper and features some of the nation's most impressive floats, within walking distance of many Irish pubs.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Butte, Montana
ButteAmericaFoundation/facebook.com

montana

Butte
Butte claims to be America's most Irish city per capita, so naturally the town of 35,000 will put on a memorable parade this March 17, with the expected attendance rate to rival the population. The route runs through uptown Butte starting at 12:30 p.m. and usually ends in a party with food vendors and live Celtic music, surrounded by Irish-themed shops and other reminders of the town's Gaelic roots.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in O'Neill, Nebraska
Courtesy of cityofoneillnebraska.com

nebraska

O'Neill
The self-proclaimed "Irish Capital of Nebraska," O'Neill's big claim to fame is the world's largest shamrock. It serves as the center of performances and festivities at their annual St. Patrick's Day parade on March 16, for which the town's 4,000-plus population briefly doubles. It's also preceded by a Shamrock Fun Run and rotating pub specials the same morning, plus the "Greening of the Pond," fish fry, and live concerts on March 14.

Virginia City's Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry in Virginia City, Nevada
Deanna L./yelp.com

nevada

Virginia City
Of course Las Vegas has no shortage of Irish pub parties and casino-adjacent parades, but for a more unusual celebration, check out the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry on March 16, coinciding with Virginia City's St. Patrick's Day parade. Visitors to the Old West-style town are said to enjoy "the most outlandish St. Patrick's Day atmosphere found west of the Mississippi" by walking in the parade, participating in the a saloon crawl, and sampling chefs' most creative preparations of beef testicles. Tickets start at $7 to try three "oysters."

Run Before You Crawl 5K in Dover, New Hampshire
runb4ucrawl/facebook.com

new hampshire

Dover
Rather than try to compete with the bigger holiday festivities in nearby Boston, Dover's Run Before You Crawl 5K traditionally takes place the Saturday after St. Paddy's Day, March 23 this year. For a $40 entry fee, runners are rewarded afterward with a plethora of free Irish food samples and prize giveaways at the ensuing pub crawl. Visitors can also choose to attend just the pub crawl ($20) or 5K run ($25, or $10 for children).

Union County St. Patrick's Parade in Elizabeth, New Jersey
unioncountystpatricksdayparade/facebook.com

new jersey

Elizabeth
The Union County St. Patrick's parade starts at 1 p.m. sharp on March 16, with the non-stop music and grand floats preceded by a morning Mass. For a more unique if costly experience on the 17th, Basking Ridge's Farmstead Arts Center hosts a $15-$20 Celtic music journey wherein singer and acoustic guitar player Heather Mulvey traces the Irish history of traditional and contemporary Americana and folk songs.

St. Patrick's Day Balloon Rallye in Belen, New Mexico
Courtesy of vfrsballoonclub.org

new mexico

Belen
As many as 100 hot air balloons of all colors, shapes, and sizes will be floating in the air above Belen Eagle Park this March 15-17 for the annual St. Patrick's Day Balloon Rallye, the state's second-largest balloon rally. Beyond the shamrock-shaped balloon, the annual tradition also features food vendors, prize giveaways, and a procession of skydivers to entertain the crowd after the balloons' "Mass Ascension" on Saturday.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York, New York
stu99/istockphoto

new york

New York
The Niagara Falls may turn green on the other end of the state, but New York City wins out for being home to the world's first ever St. Paddy's Day parade, held since 1762. Today the world's "oldest, biggest, and best" St. Patrick's celebration has grown much larger and more raucous, with roughly 200,000 people expected to parade up Fifth Avenue on March 16.

Green Water Revival in Charlotte, North Carolina
usnwc/facebook.com

north carolina

Charlotte
The U.S. National Whitewater Center adopts a new color for its annual Green River Revival this March 16 at 1 p.m., when the onsite rapids will turn as vibrant and verdant as a four-leaf clover. Participants in the 5K Trail Run at 10 a.m. are doused with green dye as well, while in the evening there will be live bands playing and open yoga sessions to enjoy.

Fargo-Moorhead St. Patrick's Day Parade in Fargo, North Dakota
DowntownFargo/facebook.com

north dakota

Fargo
The Fargo-Moorhead St. Patrick's Day Parade is a seasonal tradition in the Red River Valley that encourages local Irish "clans" to deck out their family vehicles to enter the lineup of 100-plus floats marching on March 16. Many give away candy and other treats for young spectators, while the processions of bagpipers, dancers, and equestrians provide some traditional Celtic entertainment.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Cleveland, Ohio
StPatricksDayCleveland/facebook.com

ohio

Cleveland
Cleveland knows how to throw an excellent St. Paddy's Day bash. Their parade is among the oldest celebrations in the state of Ohio and is put on every year by 28 local Irish organizations. Spectators can see roughly 10,000 participants march through the streets in festive garb matching the year's theme of Irish churches starting at 2:04 p.m. precisely on St. Patrick's Day.

St. Paddy's Day Party in Claremore, Oklahoma
Courtesy of downtownclaremore.org

oklahoma

Claremore
Even statues of local legislator Will Rogers will be decked out in festive green garb for Claremore's St. Paddy's Day Party this March 17, for which the college town goes all out. The outdoor event starts at 12 p.m. at the Main Street Tavern parking lot and continues until 10, feature Irish dancers and bands as well as beer, whiskey, and brat dogs available for purchase.

Irish Stroll in Portland, Oregon
PaddysPortland/facebook.com

oregon

Portland
Portland lives up to its hip reputation with a host of unique events throughout St. Patrick's Day weekend, the most noteworthy of which is probably a weekend-long pub crawl called the Irish Stroll. For $10 per event or $25 for the lot, attendees gain access to a kick-off event on Friday, March 15, followed by two days of Celtic drink specials at Burnside-area bars with a private late-night party on Saturday.

9th Annual Newtown Irish Festival in Newtown, Pennsylvania
Courtesy of visitbuckscounty.com

pennsylvania

Newtown
All of Bucks County has plenty to offer for St. Patrick's Day weekend, but the Green Parrot Inn throws by far the longest celebration, with their 9th Annual Newtown Irish Festival from March 13 through March 17. There'll be bands onstage and drink specials at the bar the entire time, plus Irish breakfasts, face painting, and other family friendly entertainment on Saturday and Sunday, when admission will cost $10 at the door or $25 in advance online.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Newport, Rhode Island
newportirish/facebook.com

rhode island

Newport
Pipe bands, drum corps, clown units, historical re-enactors, Boy and Girl Scouts, and myriad other community organizations will participate in Newport's 63rd annual parade on March 16. Following the 2-hour march at 11 a.m., adults and children alike can enjoy the comparatively new St. Patrick's Day Family Celebration, where there will be face painting, Irish step dancers, and a "How Green Am I" contest with cash prizes.

St. Pat's Music Festival in Five Points, South Carolina
fivepointssc/facebook.com

south carolina

Five Points
Tickets costs $20 online to see more than 20 bands rock out on five stages for the annual St. Pat's in Five Points music festival on March 16. The beloved local bands, vendors, and activities onsite are enough to rival many large-scale music festivals, with highlights including a food truck rodeo, children's area, silent disco, craft beer alley, a family fun run, and, of course, a parade.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
SiouxCityStPaticksDayParade/facebook.com

south dakota

Sioux Falls
The only requirement to participate in Sioux Falls' holiday parade is to register in advance and buy a $3 St. Patrick's Day button, so almost anyone can march and feel part of the local tradition. The celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. on March 16 with the annual painting of a giant shamrock on Phillips Avenue, before the parade starts at 2 p.m.

Music City Irish Festival in Nashville, Tennessee
Courtesy of Music City Irish Fest

tennessee

Nashville
Though there are many ticketed concerts happening in Nashville to honor St. Patrick's Day, it's hard to beat the free-to-attend Music City Irish Festival on March 17 at Public Square Park. Local country-bluegrass and pipe bands will pay tribute to the city's Scots-Irish musical roots alongside contemporary singer-songwriters visiting from the Emerald Isle.

St. Patrick's Day Festival in Shamrock, Texas
shamrocktxspd/facebook.com

texas

Shamrock
The town of Shamrock takes advantage of its unique name and prime location on historic Route 66 with an annual St. Patrick's Day Festival, now the entire state's official celebration for the holiday. The ever-growing festival runs from March 15-17 this year and will feature a festive parade and carnival running all weekend long with events including a car show, rodeo, motorcycle rally, cornhole tournament, beard contest, and arts and crafts show.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Salt Lake City, Utah
Hibernian-Society-of-Utah/facebook.com

utah

Salt Lake City
The Hibernian Society of Utah's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and "Siamsa," or celebration, will be held on March 16 this year at 10 a.m. in downtown Salt Lake. After the parade of Irish families marching alongside festive floats, guests can head to the Gallivan Center for the Siamsa featuring dancing demonstrations, live music, and traditional cuisine.

Bud Light Shamrock Fest in Mount Snow, Vermont
MountSnowVermont/facebook.com

vermont

Mount Snow
Ski down powdery slopes decked out in your greenest garb for a truly Vermont-style St. Patrick's Day at the Bud Light Shamrock Fest from March 15-17 at the Mount Snow resort. With a $17 per day lift ticket, you can enjoy Keg & Eggs breakfasts, ongoing deck parties, live Irish music, and a Pot O' Gold Scavenger Hunt for which the prize is a resort pass for the 2019-20 season.

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend in Virginia Beach, Virginia
shamrockmarathon/facebook.com

virginia

Virginia Beach
March 16 and 17, the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend offers different distances of races to suit any family members' fitness level, from a full marathon to a 26-yard "Leprechaun Dash." The Virginia Beach Convention Center will be running a sports and fitness expo the entire time, while races on each day are capped off with an outdoor party featuring live music, beverages, and Irish stew.

St. Patrick's Day Party in Seattle, Washington
KellsSeattle/facebook.com

washington

Seattle
Tucked away in Seattle's famous Pike Place Market, the longstanding Kell's Irish Restaurant and Bar hosts one of the city's best St. Patrick's Day parties lasting the whole weekend, complete with dancing, corned beef, Irish soda bread, and an outdoor tent for extra space. They'll have three stages of live music viewable from their backbar area, and this year the neighboring Cantina de San Patricio has partnered to lend even more hangout space. Entry costs $20 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday.

Irish Spring Festival in Ireland, West Virginia
Irish-Spring-Festival/facebook.com

west virginia

Ireland
Of course, the town of Ireland goes above and beyond for St. Patrick's Day with its Irish Spring Festival, lasting from March 14-18 with loads of colorful local traditions. Beneath a rugged cliff called Blarney Rock, visitors and locals can enjoy a flag-raising ceremony, parade, Pot O' Luck dinner, and road bowling — an Irish sport of tossing metal balls along a predetermined path of country roads.

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Madison, Wisconsin
stpatsmadison/facebook.com

wisconsin

Madison
Madison puts on a great show of Irish pride each St. Patrick's Day at the state's Capitol Square, with a traditional parade featuring marching bands and floats as well as Irish-themed contests awarding prizes for best costume, reddest hair, largest clan, and more. The celebration starts March 17 at 1:30 p.m., following a 5K "Shamrock Shuffle Walk" the day before.

Spring Fling in Cody, Wyoming
CodyWYChamber/facebook.com

wyoming

Casper
The David Street Station event venue in downtown Casper hosts a St. Patrick's Day celebration from 12-3 p.m. on March 16. While dining on corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and green beer, guests will enjoy live entertainment from the Casper Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drum band and the Richens/Timm Irish Dance Group.