Every year, on and around March 17th, millions of Americans decide to embrace their Irish heritage on Saint Patrick’s Day. The best thing about St. Paddy’s Day, of course, is you don’t actually have to be of Irish descent to take part and celebrate. That’s a very good thing, otherwise, many of us would miss out on the fun!
Now, there’s no doubt you’re aware of the huge events around St. Patrick’s Day in big cities like Boston, Chicago, and New York. But, did you know that there are lots of fun St. Paddy’s Day events that often fly under the radar?
That’s what this post is for. We’re going to highlight some of the most unconventional cities where you can join in the celebrations and be Irish for a day or two.
The city of Davenport has one of the largest populations of people claiming Irish heritage in the country. So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that they go all out for a big St. Paddy’s Day event, right?
What’s also cool about this parade is it’s the only one in the country that crosses state lines. That’s right, Davenport’s Quad Cities event goes right over the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois.
Buffalo, New York
While most look to New York City for big events, you’d be missing out if you overlooked Buffalo this year. This city is consistently ranked as one of the best places to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade or event.
It’s easy to see why Buffalo has become such a hotspot. Having hosted this parade since 1940, the area not only has a great parade, but it’s local area bars and restaurants make sure to take part in all the activities too.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Having what might be the world’s shortest parade route, a mere 98 feet, doesn’t stop Hot Springs, Arkansas from making our list of the top unconventional spots for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
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What it lacks in length, Hot Springs makes up for it in spirit. Their St. Paddy’s Day event features everything from Irish Elvis impersonators to live music, parade marshalls, and the world’s largest inflatable leprechaun.
With over 125,000 parade goers and over 100 floats, the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day celebration and parade certainly rivals its more famous brethren in both Boston and Chicago.
This parade is chock full of performers, marching bands, floats, and even animals along its 2-mile long path. The accompanying festival runs most of the day from 9 am to 3 pm, while the parade itself goes from 11 am to 2 pm. The 2017 parade has already passed as it was held the prior Saturday on the 11th, but be sure to add Dallas to your to-visit list for next year!
Denver’s St. Paddy’s Day parade and celebration are one of the biggest in the Western part of the country. The parade routinely draws crowds of over 200,000 people, making it truly a must see event.
What makes the Denver parade so much fun is that it also brings in some of that Western flair. You’ll see floats and leprechauns, sure, but also horses and stagecoaches as the parade winds its way around the city.
No matter if you’re attending an event this year or are making plans to catch one next year, be sure to keep these on the top of your list!