St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Across America

Every year, millions of people pour out onto the streets and play hookie from work to eat, drink and dance on the one day of the year when everyone is a little bit Irish. Historically, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration that takes place on the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death. Because this day falls during the Lenten season, meat consumption was only allowed on this day, causing festivities around traditional Irish foods, drink and dance.

Today in America, 34.7 million residents claim their Irish ancestry, which is seven times greater than the population of Ireland itself. It’s no wonder why parades across the U.S. continue to be an event that people from all over flock to.

Here are some quick facts on the top cities that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:

With over 200,000 participants and more than 3 million green-clad spectators each year, New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest and longest parade in the U.S. Starting at 11:00 AM and lasting until 5:00 PM, spectators can catch the parade from 44th Street to 80th Street.

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade occurs on Sunday, March 19 at 1:00 PM. Hundreds of thousands of onlookers can use this interactive map to find the best viewing spots for the parade and open restaurants along the route.

Savannah’s St. Patty’s Day celebrations is the third biggest in the world. For over 190 years, the city of Savannah has been celebrating this lucky day. Festivities kick off on Friday, March 17 with the parade at 10:15 AM and enjoy partying at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival throughout the weekend.

There’s nothing like celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Each year 40 gallons of dye is poured into the Chicago River, turning its water green for a few hours. Although the festivities are celebrated a week before the actual day, thousands dress up and celebrate their Irish (or not-so-Irish) heritage.

To learn even more on the history of this beloved holiday, take a peek at this video.