A cultural and religious celebration, Saint Patrick’s Day—or the Feast of Saint Patrick—is held every year on March 17 to celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland. There are many legends surrounding the Saint, one being that he used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity, hence the holiday’s association with all things shamrock green. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is known more as a joyous ode to Irish culture and is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.
These four cities around the world feature some of the best parades, festivities, and cultural events to celebrate Irish heritage—and Inspirato passholders can travel to all of them during the month of March.
It’s only fitting that Ireland’s capital marks the epicenter of the global St. Patrick’s Day celebration with a five-day festival March 13–17, 2020, that culminates with an extravagant parade on the actual holiday. Spectacular floats, marching bands, and artistic performers weave through the city center entertaining thousands upon thousands of merrymakers. For those seeking an authentic way to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Irish, Dublin is the ideal place. Passholders should snag one of the Pass trips available in Dublin for the week of St. Paddy’s now.
New York, New York
First held in 1762, the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the oldest and largest celebration of its kind in the U.S. The parade attracts over two million spectators and more than 250,000 bagpipes, dancers, and marching bands participate in the parade that kicks off on 44th Street and marches along Fifth Avenue, passing St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the way. To dive even deeper into the city’s Irish tradition, grab a pint of Guinness served by an Irish bartender at McSorley’s, the city’s oldest pub that remains untouched by time. Choose from hundreds of trips to the Big Apple now available on Pass during the week of St. Patrick’s Day.
Perhaps the most iconic sight associated with St. Patrick’s Day is the Chicago River being transformed into a gleaming shade of Gaelic green, a tradition dating back to 1961. Spectators gather on bridges and on the Riverwalk to watch barges release 40 pounds of organic, environmentally safe dye into the river, which you can also see up close on a river cruise. The Windy City takes the cake with the most celebrations per capita—from the three-hour parade downtown (to be held on March 14, 2020) to the Leprechaun Leap race along the Lake Michigan waterfront. Choose from dozens of stays at luxury hotels, like the Thompson Chicago and The Langham Chicago, that will get you there in time for the parade.
Home to a large population of Irish descendants, South Boston—or “Southie”—hosts a parade featuring marching bands from across the U.S. and is home to endless options of Irish pubs, like J.J. Foley’s Cafe, the oldest family-run Irish pub in town. History buffs will love the Irish Heritage Trail guided walks presented by the Boston Irish Tourism Association or JFK Library’s March 14 celebration, where Irish immigrants tell their stories through songs and poems. To experience even more Irish culture, the Irish Film Festival will air Irish productions at the historic Somerville Theatre from March 19-22, 2020, and Boston’s own Celtic punk rock group—the Dropkick Murphys—will play four shows March 14–17, 2020. Passholders can choose from hundreds of Boston trips available on the Inspirato Pass trip list throughout the month of March.