And, evidently, a parade. That old adage that everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day is truer than you might realize.
The feast day of Ireland's patron saint is observed with public celebrations in many of the world's major cities, including several you wouldn't necessarily think of as unduly Irish. Herewith, some samplings.
New York hosts the world's largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration. More than two million people will watch the parade up Fifth Ave., this year on March 16. It lasts about six hours and features bands, bagpipes, and no floats. The city's parade tradition dates back to 1762; the first marchers were British soldiers. (Well, Irish soldiers in the British military.) You can watch New York's parade atwww.nbcnewyork.com Streaming starts around 11 am.
Dublin celebrates St. Patrick’s Day over five days with boat races, an Irish Beer & Whiskey Festival, music and street performances and a parade that attracts about half a million spectators. Major landmarks throughout Dublin, including the Natural History Museum and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, are lit with a green glow for the holiday.
In Sydney, the whole city including the famed Opera House turns green for St. Patrick’s Day. The city holds an annual themed parade that dates back more than 200 years.
Chicago dyes the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day. It's a tradition that dates back to 1961, when the city's parade chairman saw green dye in the river (used to identify sewage problems) and got the idea to color the whole river. On the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, more than 400,000 people gather to watch 45 pounds of environmentally-safe vegetable dye turn the murky river a bright shade of green. Even more spectators gather for a three-hour parade that proceeds from Columbus Drive through Grant Park. The march is televised and streamed locally.
Since its inauguration in 1824, Montreal's St. Patrick’s Day Parade has never been cancelled, regardless of weather. The three-hour festivities take place on the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day and include floats, bands, costumes and a massive replica of St. Patrick, which leads the march.
Boston's St. Patrick’s Day parade, a century-old tradition, covers 3.6-miles and lasts about 4 and a half hours. This year they're expecting 122 groups to take part with 24 floats and 27 bands, The Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums and other local bands perform, as well as musicians from Ireland, Spain, Germany, and elsewhere. They expect a million people to show up, in a city with a population of 685,094.
Savannah's celebration of St. Patrick's Day includes a parade with horses and floats, a street party on River Street with vendors and live musical performances, and the Tara Feis Irish Celebration, with crafts, storytellers and musical performances. The city also hosts a number of smaller parades and celebrations starting in mid-February. One special event is the William Jasper Green ceremony, which honors the Irish men who lost their lives in the Siege of Savannah.
London's annual St. Patrick's Day parade travels a 1.5-mile route from Green Park to Trafalgar Square. An all-day festival at Trafalgar Square includes music performances, a food market, fashion show and film festivals.