10 best St. Patrick’s Day Parades across the US

From the crowded streets of Chicago to the charming avenues of Savannah, St. Patrick's Day parades captivate hearts of all ages. These parades aren't just about commemorating Ireland's patron saint; but also, about celebrating and embracing the Irish culture and heritage woven into America's history. Follow along to learn about some of the top St. Patrick's Day parades in the United States.

When is St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick's Day is an annual holiday celebrated on March 17th, commemorating the death of St. Patrick. St. Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the country. The day is marked with parades and festivals, and green attire is worn as a symbol of Irish pride and solidarity. Over time, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into a global celebration of Irish culture, featuring traditions such as shamrock decorations, Irish music, traditional Irish cuisine, and lively parades.

Chicago, Illinois


No one throws a party like the Irish community in the Windy City. Winding through the towering skyscrapers of Chicago, this St. Patrick's Day parade can't be topped. The Chicago River is dyed emerald green the day before the parade, which is another event in itself. Bagpipes echo through the streets, elaborate floats, spirited marching bands, and talented Irish dancers proudly make their way down the parade route through the city. And after the parade, escape the crowds and head to Paddy B's, a traditional Irish Pub in the Orland Park neighborhood, for great food and drinks to keep the party going!

Boston, New York


In the heart of New England, Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade dates to the early 19th century, making it one of the country's oldest St. Patrick's Day parades. Thousands of spectators line the streets in South Boston to watch the marching bands, dancers, colorful floats, and bagpipe players pass by. The sense of community makes the parade in Boston unique, as families and friends come together to celebrate.

New York City, New York


New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade is over 250 years old, making it the oldest in the country and maybe the world. The iconic parade starts at East 44th Street, goes down Fifth Avenue, and ends at East 79th Street. With the spirited sound of bagpipes and drums and the excited cheers of the estimated 2 million spectators, approximately 150,000 people participate in the parade yearly.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Philadelphia's St. Patrick's Day parade dates back to the 1770s, making it another one of the older parades in the United States. The parade in Philadelphia brings both locals and visitors as spectators and participants and features colorful floats, Irish dancers, marching bands, and many community organizations. The local Irish community plays a significant role in organizing the event and also organizes many activities afterward, including pub crawls, concerts, and cultural performances.

New Orleans, Louisiana


New Orleans is known for throwing lively parties, so a top-tier St. Patrick's Day parade seems fitting here! This parade is an eclectic mix of Irish heritage and the vibrant New Orleans energy. Many of the floats in this parade showcase the creativity and craftsmanship of local artists and organizations. From intricately designed floats to elaborate costumes and decorations, this parade is sensory overload and captivates both young and old alike.

San Francisco, California


San Francisco's St. Patrick's Day parade has a beautiful waterfront backdrop as the parade route winds along the scenic streets of the city's Embarcadero district. The parade blends Irish traditions with the city's inclusive and diverse culture, which reflects the melting pot of cultures that define San Francisco. This parade is fun, colorful, and interactive for families with children, with special activities and entertainment organized along the parade route.

Detroit, Michigan


Detroit hosts its annual St. Patrick's Day parade on the Sunday following the holiday, drawing crowds of up to 100,000 spectators yearly. The parade starts at the UIS Irish Plaza, a symbolic starting point that pays homage to Detroit's Irish heritage. From there, the parade follows along Michigan Avenue and through the neighborhood of Corktown. High school marching bands, color guard units, floats, clowns, and other novelty groups all march in the parade.

Savannah, Georgia


Savannah's St. Patrick's Day parade embodies the unparalleled Southern hospitality you'd expect! This vibrant, family-friendly parade travels through the picturesque streets of Savannah's historic district, creating a stunning backdrop of moss-draped oak trees, charming cobblestone squares, and classic architecture. The parade features diverse participants, including colorful floats, marching bands, Irish dancers, and local organizations, all coming together to celebrate Irish culture and heritage.

Dublin, Ohio


As its name might imply, a St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ohio, should be authentic due to its rich history of Irish immigration and culture. The parade in Dublin pays homage to the traditions and customs of Emerald Isle, with colorful floats adorned with shamrocks and Celtic symbols. This parade offers many family-friendly experiences, such as collecting candy and treats tossed off the floats! Those with Irish roots or who appreciate a good parade will enjoy the colorful floats, costumes, bagpipes, and energy this parade brings!

Kansas City, Missouri


Kansas City hosts one of the Midwest's largest St. Patrick's Day parades. Colorful floats, local high school and college marching bands, Irish dancers, and community groups all march in the parade to celebrate Irish culture and heritage. The parade is organized and run by the Irish community in Kansas City. It takes a special route through the historic downtown streets, showcasing the city's most important buildings and architecture.


St. Patrick's Day parades across the country represent more than lucky charms and green beer; they are a vibrant celebration of Irish culture and heritage deeply woven into America's history, thus making the country what it is today. Whether it's the longstanding traditions of the East Coast or the eclectic energy of cities like New Orleans and San Francisco, St. Patrick's Day parades continue to enchant and inspire people of all ages, reminding us of the enduring power of cultural celebration and community spirit.


Written by Andrea Jeschke