Here’s what to do for our second St. Patrick’s Day in quarantine.
St. Patrick’s Day, which originated in Ireland, honors the country’s primary patron saint with a feast, parade, and church service. The day’s roots are traced to a fifth-century Irish missionary, but around the world, the holiday seems to have taken on a life of its own, with many revering it as a top party holiday. Major cities across the globe now honor the patron saint with parades, parties, and (yes) bar crawls.
While the pandemic might change the nature of our plans, it’s not canceling the holiday. If you’re looking for a way to safely celebrate and don your green, these are some ways you can enjoy the Irish holiday around the world—socially-distanced, of course.
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South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Race
WHERE: Boston, Massachusetts
While you might normally spend your Saint Patrick’s Day with a morning beer followed by packing in tight to see your city’s parade, this year you can do what can only be considered the opposite—a socially-distanced run. Boston’s annual Road Race is going virtual for 2021, allowing participants to choose their own path and means of travel (with a Peloton bike ride totally permissible!). This race is typically held in person, but the city is choosing to move it to a virtual platform to ensure participant’s safety. Not only do you get your workout out of the way, but you also get an official race shirt.
The National St. Patrick’s Day Festival
The home country’s very own festival, which runs from March 12 through 17 is moving online. While this might not be ideal for the locals who call a visit to this festival a yearly tradition, it does mean that those around the world can get a chance to experience how the patron saint’s country celebrates. The event will have everything from musical acts to theater performances to poetry, and the end of the festival will be commemorated with a virtual parade featuring the typical pageantry and marching band performances. And those wanting to participate can do so from the comfort of their own home, in full St. Patrick garb, of course.
Annual Greening of the Canal
WHERE: Indianapolis, Indiana
This state capitol might be having to rethink their yearly St. Patrick’s Day parade, officially canceling the in-person event, but Indianapolis still plans to dye the downtown canal green (virtually). For those wanting to experience a St. Patrick’s Day tradition without getting into the mess of an in-person (crowded) parade, the dying of the canal is the perfect way to celebrate–watch from home in real-time as it transforms into something out of a Nickelodeon slimefest. The canal winds around downtown, with easy access points for those wanting to get a peak later in the day.
Reverse St. Patrick’s Day Parade
WHERE: Dublin, Ohio
This suburb of Columbus is getting seriously creative—I mean, after being named one of the top 10 cities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, they kind of had to. While the city typically hosts an elaborate parade with floats, balloons, and bagpipe players, this year they’ll be hosting what they’re calling a “reverse parade.” Rather than standing outside the parade lines watching as it goes by, you’ll be driving through it. It’s the perfect way to experience the event that this Irish town holds near and dear while ensuring everyone’s safety.
The Bay Area's Social Media Parade
WHERE: San Francisco, California
The United Irish Societies of San Francisco (UISSF) has been celebrating this holiday for 170 years, and 2021 will not be the one that stops them. Because a physical parade is not possible in California at the moment, the group is taking their celebration to social media. UISSF is asking for local residents and businesses to submit short videos about their experiences with the festivities as well as past footage to create a virtual celebration to honor past parades. It’s the perfect way to get involved and share what makes San Francisco’s festival so special. Or, for those of us who just want to watch, a great way to get in the holiday spirit.
Clare’s Irish Festival
WHERE: Clare, Michigan
With Ennis, Ireland, as a sister city, it’s only fitting that this Michigan town celebrates the Irish holiday. Each year, the town hosts an elaborate festival, with a parade, competitions, entertainment, and seriously good food. Their 46th year of celebrations will look a little different, however. Following Michigan’s coronavirus protocols, the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce has scaled back the festivities, canceling some of the more touristed attractions. But there are still plenty of activities throughout the city, as well as small businesses to visit. Check their schedule to stay up to date.
St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl
WHERE: Denver, Colorado
The most American of the Irish traditions is the bar crawl, where green-clad drinkers assume Irish descent for the day to enjoy pint after pint. The Mile High City has a slew of St. Patrick’s Day festivities planned, one of which is the popular Denver bar crawl. Enjoy green drinks and music as you hit up participating bars. And check out Denver’s COVID-19 rules and standards to ensure you’re enjoying the day safely.