Saint Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in the US since the late 1800s, but in recent years it seems cities across the country have been taking the holiday up a notch—with some even dedicating full weeks to the celebration.
Kansas City, MO
Missouri might seem like an unlikely place to get your Saint Patty’s day party on, but the town actually has a rich tradition of celebrating the holiday since 1873. The merrymaking begins on the Saturday before March 17, known to locals as Snake Saturday, and continues throughout the week with a parade and barbecue cook-off.
It’s no secret that the Windy City’s high population of Irish-Americans contributes to its throwing one of the largest Saint Patty’s Day parades in the country. The real excitement comes after the parade, however, when thousands flock to the banks of the Chicago River to watch the water turn a bright shade of Irish green!
The City of Brotherly Love is no stranger to a lively Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. In fact, most festivities begin the weekend before March 17 and continue into the following weekend, with one of the largest parades in the country and a Leprechaun Run to support the Special Olympics Philadelphia Athletes organization.
Hot Springs, AK
Another unusual place to spend your Saint Patty’s Day, Hot Springs also has one of the strangest series of traditions to commemorate the holiday. With the official World’s Shortest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade (lasting a mere thirty seconds), you’ll have plenty of time to check out the largest inflatable leprechaun in the world and a kissing contest at the Arkansas Blarney Stone.
No list of Saint Patrick’s Day events is complete without mentioning the US city with the highest population of Irish-Americans. Boston has the third-largest parade in the country, which brings in more than one million observers. Aside from the parade, there are plenty of Irish music concerts throughout the week, including a 6-day concert series from Boston’s own Irish punk band, the Dropkick Murphys.