St. Patrick’s Day may have just passed us last month, but it’s never to early to start planning for next year!
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday you would expect to celebrate in New York City, Boston, London, or – glory of glories – in Dublin itself. Anywhere that Irish culture has taken hold, thanks to wave after wave of Irish immigrants, seems like the perfect location for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations – and by that we mean a mind-numbingly green parade followed by drinks with friends and family.
Like much of what the Irish have brought into the world, however, other locations have taken up the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with gusto, and you’re doing yourself a disservice by missing out on them!
The Green at Home
First, the continental United States has a lot to offer outside of the Northeast. Take Chicago, for example. A massive metropolis with a lot to offer in terms of sports, nightlife, and attractions, the city celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in a very showy way, dying the Chicago River green with 100 pounds of green dye dumped into the river. After that, the Downtown Chicago Parade begins, lasting a few hours as floats and dancers march.
After the parade, you can head down to traditional Irish pubs like The River Shannon, Fado Irish Pub, or Poag Mahone’s for green beer and some crazy Irish parties. If you’re looking for something a little more family friendly, of course you can check out the American Heritage Center, where a party with traditional and modern Irish music, dancing, food children’s activities, and beer are all available.
Head north to Toronto, where the Grand Marshal’s Ball offers a gourmet dinner, live entertainment, and drinks, all at a surprisingly affordable price. Toronto’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is not quite as crazy as some parades are, though it still has a lot of vim and vigor to it. If you want to extend your vacation beyond St. Patrick’s Day, you can take in some quintessentially Canadian attractions like the Sugar Bush Maple Syrup Festival, wagon rides, and a ferry ride to the Toronto Islands.
Australia has been one of the prime destinations for Irish immigrants over the years, decades, and centuries, and the Irish have left their mark on Australian culture and society. The Sydney St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day includes several different categories of marchers, including convicts, rebels, and more. These revelers will be displaying all the contributions the Irish have made to Australian culture, including music, dance, and more. Following the parade, you could go to Hyde Park for more family-friendly activities, or head on over to the St. Patrick’s Day Cruise for a tour of the Sydney Harbor and an open bar.
It may surprise you to learn that St. Patrick’s Day is also raucously celebrated in Moscow, the capital of Russia and the heart of Russian culture. Every year, more and more floats are added to the Russian St. Patrick’s Day parade. In fact, Moscow often celebrates a whole “Irish week,” with a film and music festival, and tons of bars (including the Irish pubs, of course) offering St. Patrick’s Day-themed drinks. If you’re a fan of the already vibrant and sometimes-debauched Russian nightlife, then you can only imagine how crazy things can get when they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
A Great Way to Travel
St. Patrick’s Day can be a lot of different things to different people. World travellers and people on vacation who are on their own, with friends, or a couple, may want to enjoy the partying that always comes with St. Patrick’s Day, but families with young children will certainly want to focus more on the cultural aspect of St. Patrick’s Day. While visiting Dublin or other major Irish cities is a great way to do this, it can be very educational – and fun! – to see how other cultures embrace their Irish heritage (or lack thereof!).
St. Patrick’s Day makes a great excuse to get out of your home and community to go see the world in a new and different way. Many travellers aren’t in the airways during this time, which often makes travel and accommodations notably more affordable than they otherwise would be at any other time of the year. You can take advantage of those low prices – and Irish hospitality! – to have a great time this spring!
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Article provided by Arya Bina and our friends at Cheap Travel Hunter