St. Patrick’s Day, one of the most celebrated festivals of the year in the U.S. isn’t even American! Taking place annually in mid-March, St. Paddy’s gives us another opportunity to play hooky and drink beer. While destinations like New York City, San Francisco, and Boston are runaways for some of the largest St. Patrick’s Day festivities, we’d like to recommend this list of alternate — and surprising — cities that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with its own style!

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is often a clear favorite on most people’s list as one of the best places for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It is indeed a great destination come mid-March for those who may typically go to New York City or Boston, but want to head south for warmer weather. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day since the early 1800s, Savannah’s festivities has grown to draw nearly half a million visitors each year. If nothing else, don’t miss the parade and make sure to get a photo with Forsyth Park’s green fountain!

Dublin, Ohio

It’s only natural that a “Dublin” would make it on the list! While there are several Dublins scattered around the U.S., the one in Ohio throws the biggest St. Patrick’s Day festival. As you would assume, Dublin, Ohio has a strong Irish heritage and culture. The highlight of the festival is the one-mile parade. The evening is followed by the town’s Irish historic district throwing parties with Irish food and drink.

St. Louis, Missouri

It may be surprising to find such a large St. Patrick’s Day in the Midwest, but the fact is that many Midwestern cities offer great St. Paddy’s Day festivals. The parade is one of the biggest in the U.S., followed by many pubs and bars in downtown St. Louis featuring Irish drink and food specials.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Located in the Ozarks of Arkansas, it’s one of the smaller cities in the U.S. where you’ll find St. Patrick’s Day events happening. The draw of Hot Springs is that it’s one of the most quirky cities in America. Their parade is one of the most unique, with past participants that have included Irish elves and Grand Marshals like Pauley Shore and Mario Lopez.

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Yes, we’re talking about the Scranton from The Office. One of the best things is that it takes place a few days before most cities’ St. Patrick’s Day festivities, so you can enjoy St. Paddy’s Day events in Scranton, and then take a jaunt to Philadelphia or New York City for the bigger events. The parade is the main attraction, featuring Irish musicians, bands, and parade floats.

Jackson, Mississippi

The origin of St. Patrick’s Day in Jackson, Mississippi is almost as quirky as an Irish tale about leprechauns. It all began back in 1983 at Hal and Mal’s, popular a local restaurant owned by Malcolm White. That year, a group of a few hundred friends that frequented the restaurant dressed up as characters from the famous plays written by native-born Tennessee Williams and marched through downtown in celebration of the Irish holiday. Over the years, the event grew in popularity and now draws a crowd of at least 75,000 and includes other events like a pet parade, a costume contest for children, amusement rides, and even a pet parade. The event raises money for Baton Children’s Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Celebrate the holiday near the shores of the Atlantic in Wilmington, North Carolina. The annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival & Parade is a lively and colorful parade that circles through downtown and ends with a festival featuring family-friendly events. The festival includes food vendors, a variety of live music, a Kid’s Zone, and more. Keep an eye out for authentic Irish-style music and dancing performed by members of the local Walsh Kelley School of Irish Dancing. The parade usually begins at 11 a.m. and the festival continues until 6 p.m. Donations from attendees help support various local charities each year such as Nourish NC.

You may also like: Don’t Fall for These Myths About St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

New London, Wisconsin

For a unique St. Patrick’s Day celebration, head to the town of New London, Wisconsin about 40 miles east of Green Bay. A group of Irish immigrants chose to settle here in the late 1800s because the area reminded them of their beloved homeland. Today, New London is home to the state’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade with marching bands and bagpipes.

The parade is the culmination of a week-long celebration that begins when sneaky little “leprechauns,” who are actually members of the local Shamrock club, a group of Irish descendants, change the name on the road signs to “New Dublin.” All week long, the local pubs feature Irish music and serve dinners of corned beef and cabbage.

San Antonio, Texas

Chicago isn’t the only US city that dies its river green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! The south-central Texas town of San Antonio also does. But thanks to the slow-moving waters of the San Antonio River, it only stays green for 2-3 days, just long enough for a spirited weekend celebration with a parade right on the riverfront. Spectators can enjoy the parade from the 2.5 mile-long San Antonio River Walk, one of Texa’s hottest tourist attractions. The parade will feature Irish-themed floats, bag-pipers, and costumed characters. Other events to check out during the week include an annual Tator Tot eating contest, the Lucky Dog Parade and Costume Contest, and the Howl at the Moon Street Fest & Silent Disco.

Atlanta, Georgia

Looking for an excuse to book cheap flights to Georgia in March? “Hotlanta” heats up every year with several events in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day including one of the oldest parades in the country. Midtown Atlanta’s parade dates all the way back to 1858 and now includes over 2,000 participants. Expect to see bagpipe and drum corps, marching bands, dancers, dignitaries, and clowns along with the world’s largest Irish flag and a St. Patrick’s balloon that is five stories high. Atlanta also hosts the annual St. Patrick’s Parade 5K, a “Luck of the Square” celebration at Colony Square, the Midtown Green Mile Block Party, and the St. Patrick’s Day Block Party in Buckhead where the green beer flows freely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

About The Author