The Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Chicago

Although there are three different St. Patrick’s Day parades in Chicago every year, they’re regularly eclipsed by another fun tradition. Every year since 1962, the journeymen plumbers of Chicago use 45 pounds of vegetable dye to turn the Chicago River a vibrant, brilliant green. It’s one of the most cherished traditions in the city.

If you want to see one of the three parades, there’s a parade downtown, one on the South Side, and one on the Northwest Side in Norwood Park East. This means that you can have your pick of parades depending on the atmosphere you’re looking for.

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Paris

Even though North Americans tend to stereotype Parisians as uptight, chain-smoking intellectuals, the truth is that they love to let loose as much as anyone else. 2018 was the first year that there was an official St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city, but there’s been fireworks and buildings lit in green for years.

One of the most popular places in Paris for St. Patrick’s Day is actually Disneyland Paris. The amusement park hosts a spectacular display of green fireworks every year, along with Irish dance shows, complete with Minnie and Mickey in traditional costumes.

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Kilkenny

If you want to go to Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but don’t want to get caught up in a gigantic crowd of tourists, the lovely town of Kilkenny in the southeastern province of Leinster is known for their incredible festivities.

Every year on the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day, Kilkenny hosts an event called TradFest, which is a five-day celebration of Irish arts, culture, and heritage. There’s a St. Patrick’s Day parade during that time, but the focus is primarily on music and culture, and less on drinking. You can take workshops in anything from instrument making to dance, and entrance fees are reasonable — typically between $12 and $25 for each workshop or event.

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