They say everyone’s a little bit Irish on St Patrick’s Day. We say that’s a load of nonsense, because everyone is actually entirely 100% Irish on St Patrick’s Day, and that’s a scientifically verifiable fact. Here are the best places where you, as an Irish human, can celebrate your patron saint of your nation properly every March.
1 New York City
You might think Dublin would host the biggest St Paddy’s shenanigans, but nope. North America is where you need to go if you want a celebration so gigantic, it’ll feel like a beer garden crossed with a Game of Thrones battle scene. The most OTT, party of all is in New York City, home to the world’s largest St Paddy’s parade. Fun fact: it threw its first St Patrick’s festivities in 1762, before the United States actually existed. THAT’S how much they love it there.
Canada would not be listed among the most likely destinations if you looked up ‘crazy fun party time’ in the dictionary. But come St Paddy’s Day, Montreal goes all out, with more green hats, green beer and green parade floats than you can shake a bottle of Irish whiskey at. We’d expect nothing less from a city that literally has a shamrock on its flag. (To be honest, we’re a bit surprised cities even have flags, but that’s beside the point.)
Yes, it hosts pub crawls and parades and all the usual St Patrick’s hedonism that makes people wake up at 4pm the next day unable to remember who or what they are. But the thing that really makes Chicago a top destination for Irish-themed revelry? It’s the river. The Chicago River, which is dyed a bright green every year. Interestingly, the dye itself is actually orange before it gets added to the water. The only explanation is magic. Leprechaun magic.
4 Buenos Aires
Didn’t see this one coming, did you? But actually, Argentina has an estimated half a million citizens of Irish descent, thanks to migrants coming over from the Emerald Isle in the 19th Century. Che Guevara himself had an Irish great-great-great-great-grandfather called Patrick Lynch, and that’s officially the best fact you’ll learn all day. Come St Patrick’s Day, or Dia de San Patricio, the capital city comes alive with Irish concerts, dance troupes and people consuming beer for breakfast. It’s what St Patrick would have wanted.
In 2019, over 1,600 people got together in Sydney for what was billed as the ‘largest St Patrick’s Day lunch in the world’. Which was both impressive (1,600!) and surprising (because the closest thing to food you should be allowed to eat on St Paddy’s Day is Guinness). But anyway, Sydney is definitely a St Patrick’s hotspot, even turning lighting up its iconic Opera House in green for the occasion.
You were thinking it wasn’t going to be on the list, weren’t you? Well of course it was. And, while Dublin’s St Patrick’s celebrations may not be as vast as places like NYC, they do go on for days at a time, with all kinds of gigs and assorted events on offer. Just take a cattle prod if you’re intending to brave the crowds of Temple Bar. You’ll certainly need the luck of the Irish to get out of there in one piece.