From Boston to Boise, you’ll be green with envy if you miss out on these ultimate St. Paddy’s Day celebrations held in various Southwest cities. Share your plans in the comments—and be safe out there.
Boston (BOS) – Boston reigns supreme as the country's most Irish-American city, with the highest percentage of people of Irish descent, according to findings from the U.S. Census Bureau. Roughly one million people, yes you read the correctly, flock to Beantown to take part in the annual parade. The city truly goes all out with an Irish film festival and a six-day concert series in addition to the parade fun.
Chicago (MDW) – The Windy City's annual dyeing of the Chicago River has become one of the world's most recognized St. Patrick's Day traditions. The annual ritual dates back to 1961 when Stephen Bailey, the manager of Chicago's local plumbers union, saw a plumber's white overalls stained the perfect shade of green while pouring dye into the river to detect sanitation leaks. After making this discovery, Bailey suggested using the dye for future St. Paddy's Day celebrations. Childhood friend and former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley agreed, sparking an annual tradition that continues to this day. In fact, this practice is so celebrated that the city's river dye formula is a closely guarded secret. This year, the river was dyed on March 12, but you may see remnants of fluorescent green for days to come.
Kansas City (MCI) – Though North Kansas City's annual celebration goes by the name of Snake Saturday (in honor of an Irish legend about St. Patrick driving pagans, or snakes, out of Ireland), no snakes are involved. Instead, revelers participate in a variety of St. Patrick's Day activities, including a charity cook-off, a lad and lassie contest for kids, and a two-day carnival.
Shamrock, Texas (AMA) – A little over an hour from Amarillo, Shamrock plays host to the Official St. Patrick’s Celebration for Texas. Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration was the idea of Glenn Truax, a Shamrock bandmaster. He envisioned the town of Shamrock capitalizing on its Irish name and producing an annual one-day celebration to draw thousands of visitors to the Irish City. With the help of the Shamrock Boosters Club, the first St. Patrick’s Day Festival was reeled off in successful fashion in 1938. Don’t miss this town’s Big Dance, Motorcycle Rally & Poker Run, Parade, Miss Irish Rose Pageant, and more!
Boise (BOI) – Ranked number 21 on WalletHub’s list of Best Cities for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, Boise is not one to be overlooked. For those on a health kick, there’s Idaho’s Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk, the Shamrock Shuffle. After the race, participants join the after-party to celebrate in style with a complimentary Sockeye green beer in a custom Shamrock Shuffle glass until the awards ceremony where you might find you’ve won an age group award ribbon to take home to show off!