In the late 19th Century, when Ireland was experiencing what has become known as the ‘potato famine’, many Irish families took the opportunity to emigrate, seeking out better living conditions and new opportunities in the United States. Prominent cities on the east coast, such as New York and Boston, were the first places these families docked after their journey across the Atlantic, and it’s here that many of them stayed. Today, there’s a huge Irish community in Boston. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 20% of the city’s population consider themselves to be Irish-Americans.
St Paddy’s Day events
Due to the massive Irish community in the city, St. Patrick’s Day in Boston is an event that never goes unnoticed. Although there are events held all over the city on this day, it’s the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade that really stands out. The parade begins on West Broadway in South Boston at 1pm each year, and travels along East Broadway, East 4th Street, and culminates at Dorchester Avenue. The closest subway station to the route is Broadway, on the Red Line. Shamrock-shaped floats, Celtic dancers, and leprechauns are just some of the sights you’ll see along the parade route.
Afterwards, head to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, where there are celebrations each year, including traditional Irish dancers, folk singers, and, of course, green beer! If you’ve still got some time, a trip to the Irish Cultural Centre is a great way to celebrate. There’s live music here, often by Irish tribute bands such as The Joshua Tree, and there are opportunities to sample some classic Irish dishes, like corned beef and cabbage.
Where to celebrate
There’s no lack of Irish-themed pubs in central Boston, and it’s at these venues where there’s an amazing atmosphere all day on St Patrick’s Day. Stop by Emmetts Pub & Restaurant on Beacon Street for a pint of Guinness and ‘The Dubliner’ sandwich, enjoy an Irish lamb shank at the Black Rose on State Street, and wash a Guinness onion soup down with a bottle of Magners at Solas on Boylston Street.
Even the non-Irish bars get into the spirit of things on this important day in the Boston calendar, with the Cheers Bar offering Irish beef stew and Howl at the Moon serving up Irish Car Bomb cocktails in honour of the historic event. The truth is, you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to celebrate, practically everyone in the city partakes in this annual shindig, even the Red Sox and the Boston Celtics who change their standard uniforms to green to show their participation. The Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade may be the focal point for many revellers, but the celebrations extend throughout the entire city. It’s one of the most exciting (and busiest) times in Boston, and it’s well worth experiencing.
See all accommodation in Boston for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.