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The Best Celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day across the United States

A Charter Bus Trip—Go Green in Style, Comfort and Safety!

St. Patty’s Day is just around the corner, and there’ll be big celebrations from coast to coast, with green beer, Irish cuisine, parades and endless revelry paying homage to leprechauns, shamrocks and the Emerald Isle. It’s a great time to be with friends, but you don’t want to put a damper on the fun by getting behind the wheel. With a charter bus from BusRental.com, you’ll have your own designated driver and you can all have a pint or a wee bit of Bushmills. Regardless of where you live, you won’t have to travel far to find a sea of green. Here are some of the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations throughout the country:

Pittsburgh—The Steel City Goes Green

With a St. Patrick’s Day Parade that’s nearly 150 years old and will be 20,000 strong—and that’s just the participants—Pittsburgh takes home the title of best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2018, according to niche.com. City officials estimate that more than half a million people will line the parade route. The City of Champions has more than 13% of its population claiming Irish Heritage and some of the best Irish Pubs in the country, from Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle to Piper’s, all within close range of the parade route. There’ll be plenty of Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage and bangers, all washed down with a pint of Guinness.

This year’s parade will be on Saturday, March 17, starting at 9 am, and includes street performers and face painting, but the fun starts long before St. Patrick’s Day. On Saturday, March 3, you can go to Gaetano’s Banquet Center for a special St. Patrick’s Day themed murder mystery dinner. There’ll be an encore performance of the show and dinner on St. Patrick’s Day. On Friday night, March 16, BarCrawls.com is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Eve “Lucky Hour,” with drink specials from 5 pm until 10 pm. Join BarCrawls.com form its annual Irish Stroll bar hop on Saturday, March 17, starting at 1 pm.

Chicago—Let’s Dye the River Green!!

It’s one of the perennial images associated with St. Patrick’s Day in America—the bright green hue of the Chicago River, with thousands of partiers lining its banks. It all started in 1962, when a local plumber observed that the dye used to determine whether there was river pollution dyed his overalls green. The Plumbers Union devised an environmentally friendly dye and transformed the Chicago River, establishing one of the city’s most revered traditions.

Approximately 7% of the Windy City’s inhabitants are of Irish descent, and there are neighborhoods across Chicagoland that are predominately Irish-Catholic. There are not one, but three huge parades celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago this year. The South Side Irish Parade, which weaves through many of the heavily Irish neighborhoods on the city’s famous South Side, is set for Sunday, March 11, at noon. The official city of Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade, which features traditional Irish dancers, crafts and lots of great food, kicks off at noon on Saturday, March 17. This parade, first held in 1843, starts with the dyeing of the river at 9 am. There’s also the Northwest Side Irish Parade, in its 14th year, held on Sunday, March 18, in the Norwood Park East neighborhood.

Though there’s a strict zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol consumption by parade-goers, there are countless Irish pubs and restaurants along the parade route, including the Galway Arms, the Irish Oak and Mrs. Murphy & Sons. If you’re looking for a great bar crawl, check out the Chicago Shamrock Crawl, wending its way through a number of Wrigleyville bars, including Deuce’s, John Barleycorn and Country Club. The Curragh is considered to have the best boxty, the traditional Irish potato pancakes.

Seattle—Going Green in the Pacific Northwest

In this great Pacific Northwest city, it’s more than St. Patrick’s Day—it’s Irish Week, complete with an Irish Week Festival. The festivities actually begin a month before St. Patrick’s Day, with an Irish Soda Bread cooking class, a part of the preparation for one of Irish Week’s most popular events, the Irish Soda Bread Contest, which kicks off the festival on Saturday, March 10. Organized by the city’s Irish Heritage Club, Irish Week includes seven days of food and beverages from the Emerald Isle, step dancing and Irish lessons and historical demonstrations. There’s a Mass for Peace on March 16, bringing Catholics and Protestants together, and there’s the annual Friends of St. Patrick Dinner, with the traditional passing of the shillelagh. The night before the city’s huge parade, party-goers gather along the parade route to paint a mile-long green stripe for the next day’s procession, and to share grub and spirits.

Among the most popular Irish eateries in Seattle are Mulleady’s, the Blarney Stone and Kell’s Irish Restaurant. If it’s a pint of Murphy’s, Smithwicks or Kilkenny’s you’re after, visit Fado, Paddy Coyne’s or the Owl N’ Thistle for a taste of authentic Dublin.

Savannah, Georgia—A Wee Bit of Ireland in the Old South

Savannah boasts one of the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the new world, though historians can’t agree on when the first one was actually held. Some say that the first one was staged in 1813 and others claim it wasn’t until 1824. Nonetheless, the city sees one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world, with up to 500,000 expected to attend this year, paying honor to the Irish who settled her more than 300 years ago. The Savannah parade often features visiting dignitaries from Ireland.

The festivities in Savannah begin in late February, with the Savannah Irish Festival on February 17 and 18, featuring four stages with Celtic bands, Irish dancers and lots of great food and libations from Ireland, including Whiskey Cake, soda bread, bangers and fish and chips. On Saturday, March 10, there’s a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl—St. Practice Day—to get you ready for the big party. On March 11, the Tybee Post Theater hosts a “St. Patrick’s Day Celebration,” with Celtic Women star Chloe Agnew and Irish tenor Dermot Kiernan. On St. Patrick’s Day Eve, the local firefighters host the annual Fire Ball, with an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and live music. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start at 10:15 am on Saturday, March 17.

For some of the most happening Irish pubs over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Savannah, check out Kevin Barry’s, O’Connell’s and Molly MacPherson’s.

New Orleans—Erin Go Bragh in the Big Easy

In N’awlins, it’s always a great party. This southern city, historically the largest port of entry for Irish immigrants in the South, has celebrated its Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day since 1809. Unlike many other cities, New Orleans doesn’t have one big parade, but a whole bunch of neighborhood parades. As a result, there’s a party just about anywhere you go, from the French Quarter to the outlying parishes in Metairie, Slidell and Chalmette. There’s even a joint Irish-Italian parade celebrating St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s Day. Not surprisingly, the spirit of Mardi Gras is alive and well in New Orleans all year round. You’ll see floats in the neighborhood parades crafted from Carnival floats and revelers have been knows to toss cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions and other Irish stew ingredients to parade-goers.

According to many, the best party in New Orleans on March 17 is at Parasol’s Bar in the Irish Channel, a block party that has more green beer than you’ve ever seen. There’s also a block party near Annunciation Square, with Celtic music, dancing, arts and crafts, food and plenty of Irish libations, all to benefit St. Michael’s Special School. There are also many great pubs in the Big Easy, including Fahy’s, Finn McCool’s and Ryan’s Irish Pub.

A Charter Bus—The Best Way to Have a Great Time on St. Patrick’s Day  

On a day like St. Patrick’s Day, you don’t want to do anything but have fun…no checking maps, no fighting traffic, no looking for parking. With a charter bus rental, you can kick back and enjoy yourself, while we handle the details. Consider these benefits of a charter bus:

  • It’s totally hands-free—We’ll take you door-to-door
  • It’s safe and secure—We have professional drivers and limited access to the bus
  • It’s dependable—Delays and cancellations are virtually unknown
  • It’s flexible—You go where you want to go when you want to go there
  • It’s affordable—There’s no more cost-effective way to travel
  • It’s earth-friendly—When you travel with a group of friends, you help the planet

With a Charter Bus from BusRental.com, You Can Let Your Voice Be Heard

BusRental.com, the largest charter bus network in the nation, has set the standard in the charter bus industry for more than three decades, providing quality coaches to more than 21,000 events each year. To learn more about the different coaches in our fleet or to get a free quote, call 1-888-502-3458 to talk to one of our experienced agents.

The Best Celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day across the United States