It falls on a Tuesday in 2020 but we won’t let that stop us! We’re pulling out anything green from our wardrobes (whether it matches or not) and donning a “Kiss me, I’m Irish” badge (whether we’re Irish or not). Because on St Paddy’s Day the world comes together to brag about their collective (maybe tenuous) Gaelic roots and celebrate wholeheartedly. Here’s where to go, no matter where you are.
Well, duh. Ireland’s capital goes off for the country’s most famous festival and since it’s early in the week this year, things will be kicking off from Friday the 13th. 500,000 party-goers are anticipated to show up for the celebrations (more than a third of the city’s population), taking to the streets, the pubs, the parade.
The parade will take place on Tuesday 17th. It starts 1t 12pm in Parnell Square before going to O’Connell and Dame streets, around St. Patrick’s Cathedral, before ending at Kevin St so station yourself somewhere along that route and be prepared for crowds. The parade is free but if you want to book a grandstand ticket to guarantee a view, you can do so here and you can also register with that same link if you or someone in your party is unable to stand or has other mobility concerns.
After that, the best recommendation is to just start walking – mingle with the friendly locals, find pubs that aren’t so rammed that you can’t hear yourself think as they tend to be overpriced and stressful. Temple Bar is a common spot for tourists but Dubliners tend to keep their distance gives the crowds and the prices so depending on what you’re after, you can get it in Dublin.
Top tip: the Six Nations final will be played in Paris on Saturday 14th so if you’re in Dublin for the weekend and want to watch the game, remember the city’s pubs will be way more rammed than usual.
The city of Boston in Massachusetts has strong Irish roots and to say they’re into it would be an understatement. The city’s basketball team is called the Celtics, after all. They celebrate in myriad ways – from the classic to the active. Boston loves a run.
The parade is on the Sunday closest to the 17th (in 2020 that’s the 15th) in South Boston (or Southie to those in the know) and attracts up to 1million people and can see spectators standing up to 12 people deep over the 3.2mile route.
If that sounds like a little too much standing, watch the Celtics at The Garden as they face the Washington Wizards. Green attire is hugely encouraged as is enthusaistic cheering for the home team, on home turf.
If that sounds like too much sitting, the annual road race (also in Southie) sees participants running 5k through South Boston. Entires are limited to 1, 750 people so get in quick!
The pubs are plenty in Boston and the best Irish ones can be found here. Chat with the locals, raise a glass of Guinness to the homeland, watch some Irish football, and dance to Irish bands!
Another city, another parade! But this one is the biggest of them all. Starting at 11am, the parade marches up 5th Avenue from 44th St to 79th. It lasts approximately SIX hours, typically ending at 5pm.
If that’s too long for you (understandable), there are a number of Irish pubs along the route that you can duck into. Ryan’s Daughter has a lot of locals inside with pints of Guinness and playing basketball with the in-pub game. Doc Watson’s has live music and classic Irish grub. It’ll be busy but it’ll be good.
Maybe history is more your thing, or you want to learn something before you hit the pub. The Tenement Museum is your best bet. Available only with a guided tour, you can see how an Irish immigrant family lived in the 19th century. It’s a ticketed tour so get those here.
Hosted by the Argentina-Ireland Association, live music and dance performances follow the city’s parade with Irish rock, a U2 cover band, and dances by Irish dance troupes. In 2020 the celebration is on Avenida de Mayo and Peru streets, near the Plaza de Mayo, kicking off at 12pm and going through till 7pm. In addition to the celebration in the streets, there are a number of pubs and dinners throughout the city as well as masses and Celtic music. Find everything you need to know about celebrating here.
Chicago dyes their river green. That’s all you need to know. A hardcore tradition for over 50 years, the Saturday before the 17th spectators flock to get a view of the organically-dyed water and it looks nothing short of spectacular. The dyeing starts at 9am so get a spot on a bridge or bank in time to see the colour at its most rich and get those good ‘grams.
There is, of course, the usual bountiful offering of Irish food and drink around the city: pubs restaurants, and local delights. Also a parade! One of the biggest in the country which is saying something. The event information for all of this can be found here.
London’s St. Patrick’s festival is the largest celebration in the capital. On Sunday 15th March from 12pm – 6pm, Trafalgar Square is packed with people celebrating the iconic holiday. The Mayor of London says the festival has “been built upon a robust foundation of tradition, inclusivity and diversity and a sincere appreciation for the perspectives of different generations”. Be prepared for dancing, music, food, and live performance!
London’s famous Camden market sees an Irish takeover on Saturday the 14th (so you can have a whole weekend of Celtic festivities if you like). The borough is host to an Irish music trail which also features St Patrick’s street food and drink. Along the trail, you’ll find young and emerging Irish talent and a pop-up Irish bar which will also be screening the Super Saturday Six Nations games. Open till late.
For more information on St. Patrick’s Day in London, visit the official website here.
Often considered “a second home for the Irish” Glasgow takes St. Paddy’s seriously. Several venues around the city are celebrating for five whole days so you won’t be short of places to go:
Five days of festivities means a full takeover of Waxy O’Connors from Friday 13th – Tuesday 17th.
O’Neill’s is around the corner in Merchant Square and will have everything from Six Nations games and hearty food to vibey music and good craic.
Malone’s lane party is quickly becoming a Glaswegian tradition. One of the city’s most popular Irish bars will have a dedicated Guinness bar, a BBQ, live music, live rugby, and…a roof garden. What else is there. The day kicks of at 11am and is first-come-first-served so get in quick, be on time, and have £5 entry ready to go.
For more on St. Paddy’s in Glasgow, visit here.