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St. Patrick's Day in Boston
St. Patrick’s Day is a vibrant display of Irish culture and community. Boston’s large Irish population comes to life, painting the city green. Don’t miss out on the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or stopping for a drink at an Irish pub in South Boston, the center of the Irish community.
There’s no need to go chasing after leprechauns in Ireland if you’re in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day. The city’s passionate Irish population brings Boston to life in new ways with one of the spring’s most celebrated holidays.
The first ever American St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in Boston, in 1737. From the hugely popular St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston, or grabbing a drink at a local Irish pub, to dining at one of the many Irish eateries in Boston, there’s enough green to spread around for everyone on this lucky day. So make sure you’re wearing something green and call yourself an Irishman for a day!
Here’s a rundown of some of the major events going on during St. Patrick’s Day in Boston.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
If there’s only one event you go to all day, make sure it’s the main attraction, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s considered the second largest parade in America, and brings together all things Irish since 1901 when the parade was first put together. This was also the 125th anniversary of when Boston became free of British rule, thanks to George Washington and the Continental Army.
During the parade, enjoy good old fashioned Irish cheer, larger than life floats, and a big dose of Irish culture in South Boston, the hub of the Irish community. The parade starts at 1 p.m. and lasts for three hours. Your best bet is to find a good spot on Broadway to watch the parade. Take the T to the Broadway station where the parade starts, or head towards Andrew Square where the parade wraps things up.
Irish Heritage Trail
Boston is a historic city, with the famed Freedom Trail connecting many landmarks and historic sites. On St. Patrick’s Day, check out the Irish Heritage Trail, a three-mile walking tour, for a peek at Boston’s Irish history, dating as far back as the colonial era. You’ll pass through downtown, the North End, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay on the walk, and learn more about famous figures in Irish history, as well as memorable events. After all, Boston is considered the Irish capital of America!
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
Pay tribute to arguably one of the most famous Irish figures in American history, President John F. Kennedy. The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum typically puts on special exhibits in light of St. Patrick’s Day and it’s definitely worth a look. Check the museum’s website for detailed information on events and specific St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Visit an Irish Pub
At the end of the day, cap off your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with a hearty drink at an Irish pub. Boston has the largest number of Irish themed pubs in America, so finding some good Irish beer shouldn’t be too hard.
Irish Bands and Concerts
Several local and underground bands, musicians, and musical groups put on performances in the Boston area each year on St. Patrick’s Day. From Celtic bands to Rock and Roll, there are several shows in Boston offering traditional Irish music as well as more modern tunes. Check local event listings for a specific lineup each year.