Five Unique St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

st patricks day chicago vacation

A holiday with plenty of historical significance, St. Patrick's Day has stretched beyond its home country of Ireland to Irish expatriates (and those who just want to be Irish for a day) the whole world over. It's a time for festive partying, dancing in the streets, celebrating with food and drink, and generally having a rollicking good time. Dress in green, grab a shamrock, and experience a little luck of the Irish at these great St. Patrick's Day celebrations!

Dublin, Ireland

What would a list of St. Patrick's Day celebrations be without a mention of Ireland itself? Dublin brings the festivities to life like nowhere else, with a five-day St. Patrick's Festival that all are invited to join. You'll hear the Irish talking in their national language, but if you can't understand them, don't worry - smiles and laughs are universal, and because everybody in town is in a jolly mood, you'll be sure to have a good time. Wear a shamrock and raise a toast to Eire from the comfort of your own Ireland vacation rental, where you can relax after the festivities!

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is host to a spectacular St. Patrick's Day parade, but the most remarkable part of the celebration is the river itself - dyed green for the occasion. The river dye recipe is a carefully-guarded secret that keeps the water a brilliant shade of emerald green, and visitors come from all over the world (and all over town) to watch the dyeing itself. That's only the start of the celebration, though; once the river is green and the parade itself begins, you'll be treated to outstanding examples of parade staples like marching bands, floats, and Irish dancers. After the parade, if you're so inclined, attend the special Parade Mass, an Irish-themed service. Make sure you remember that this parade happens on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day - if you turn out on the holiday itself and it's not a Saturday, you'll be sorely disappointed. Make a weekend outing of it and spend a few days in a downtown Chicago rental condo or rental home in the suburbs.

New York City, New York

Home to North America's largest St. Patrick's Day parade, New York City is always an exciting place to visit. Although NYC is used to celebrating the various heritages of its diverse population, the St. Patrick's Day parade is the city's most popular annual parade. You'll see more than just Irish pride here, though there's plenty of that to go around, too. Upwards of 150,000 people march in the parade every year, and millions of people turn out to watch the event, which is organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. For the best views, watch from the north end of the parade route, where you can avoid the crowds. If your budget won't accommodate an expensive NYC hotel, save money by staying in a New York City vacation apartment that's right by the action at a fraction of the cost.

st patricks day parade nyc vacationMontreal, Quebec, Canada

The longest-running parade in North America can be found at the heart of this French-speaking province. Although it may seem unusual that Quebec can make such a claim, it's not as strange as it sounds; some people estimate that about 40% of people in Quebec are of Irish heritage. If you see Montreal on St. Patrick's Day, you won't question the amount of Irish pride shown here every year. Just be aware that Montreal is still very cold in March. If you dress warmly and brush up on your French (most people here speak English too, but it never hurts to be prepared), you can have a great holiday experience here. Live it up in a Montreal luxury rental or spend your vacation in a charming Quebec cottage rental; no matter where you stay, you'll have a great time in the multicultural province of Quebec.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

The world's shortest street plays host to the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in this historic Arkansas town. Don't come here expecting tradition, but if you have a great sense of humor and you don't mind an unusual good time, you can see some one-of-a-kind sights like a troupe of "Irish bellydancers" decked out in sparkly green costumes and (as if that wasn't enough sparkle) the "Irish Order of Elvi," a group of Elvis impersonators getting in touch with their inner Irishmen. After the parade (and with a name like this, it won't take long), join the Pub-Crawl and end the holiday with a rollicking good time. Check out our Hot Springs, AR vacation rentals for the perfect place to stay and sleep off all that celebration.



If you're getting away for St. Patrick's Day, you might be interested in our Spring Break Vacation Ideas, too.