A look at some of the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations
Let’s look at the history of St. Patrick's day parades, and celebrations in the United States.
The first celebration of St. Patricks Day in the US is attributed to Boston, on March 17, 1737. When several dozen Presbyterians who immigrated from Northern Ireland gathered to honor St. Patrick.
The oldest St.Patricks Day Parade in the country goes to none other than the Big Apple itself. The New York parade is the oldest and largest in the world, with an estimated 2 million attendees yearly. The first year for the parade was 1762, when Irish soldiers in the British army first paraded to mark the day.
The town with more Irish Pubs than anywhere in the United States, Boston. Draws over 600,000 people annually to their party and parade. The South Boston Parade is the main event, crowds dressed in green line the parade route. One big difference between the South Boston Parade and others is, it not only is a celebration of St.Patrick, it is also the observance of Evacuation Day, the day that the British troops were ousted from Boston on March 17, 1776.
The Windy City makes a heck of a splash on St. Patricks day as well. Chicago’s parade is one of the oldest in the nation, starting in 1858, it is also said to be the largest parade and party, attracting over 2 million participants and spectators. The day also begins with the coloring of the Chicago River to a rich green color. (Insert Berkley Pit joke here)
There are some others that I have heard “do it right” in places like Philadelphia, Denver, (of course) New Orleans, and Seattle.
Some others were new to me, like Savannah, Georgia. Savannah starts with a Celtic Cross ceremony bright and early in the morning, which leads to the grand parade through the city’s historic district.
San Antonio might be on to something for their party, they do it over two days. Like several cities, they dye the San Antonio River green to start it all, their parade sounds like it is on the river walk (or nearby) and includes the usual, floats, bagpipers, and I assume guys in coconut bras.
Let’s turn our attention to another one of the oldest parades in the country, going back to 1881 the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Butte Montana. The Butte Parade is the oldest parade in the state of Montana. The parade and party celebrate the Irish Heritage of Butte and SW Montana, as per capita, Butte is the most Irish town in America.
Depending on whom you want to believe, Butte’s population doubles, or even triples on St. Patrick's day. With St. Pat’s on a Friday this year, I would have to guess we are going to tip the scale much closer to the triple mark than double.
And finally we have to show some love for Anaconda! The Anaconda parade is an absolute staple, and shouldn't be missed.