To the millions of Irish-American, and Irish-For-The-Day-Americans who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day each year, the holiday has become more about pub crawls and pints than anything else. While this may be fine for most, families looking for an age appropriate way to celebrate they day with their children might need to look a little harder.
We’ve compiled a list of a few locations and events that are perfect for all ages. Click on the city names to be taken to the festival/celebration’s website to learn more.
- San Francisco, California: Home to roughly 1 million Irish-Americans, San Francisco’s Festival will showcase the local Irish community, which includes schools, youth organizations, cultural groups and other local organizations. In recent years, the parade and festival has attracted an estimated 100,000 people. This year’s Festival features Irish cultural and exhibitor booths, a healthy selection of Irish food and alcohol free beverages, Irish dancing, live contemporary to traditional music, and a multitude of activities for children such as pony rides, inflatable and mechanical rides and much more.
- New London (Dublin), Wisconsin: If there’s one city that goes over the top to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, its New London, WI. Or, is it New Dublin, WI? The city actually changes it’s name for a whole week from New London to New Dublin! The city celebrates the holiday all week long starting with Leprechaun Day, where Leprechauns change the name of the town and provide family friendly entertainment. The celebration continues with a sampling of Irish food, beverages, and entertainment.
- San Antonio, Texas: If San Antonio is known for one thing, it’s the Alamo. Every year the city has a wreath laying ceremony, which pays tribute to the Irish-Texans who lost their lives in the battle. The city also knows how to lighten the atmosphere with several days filled with Irish themed activities. Everything from a Shamrock Scramble Golf Tournament, 5K Fun Run, River Parade, family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Hooley”, and more.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1771. In addition to the parade, there are other local celebrations, such as the made-up St. Baldrick’s Day celebration at the local Fado Irish pub. The celebration, started as an alternative to drinking beer on St. Patrick’s Day, asks people to shave their heads in an effort to raise money for children’s cancer research.
- Savannah, Georgia: Starting the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day, Savannah is host to about 200 festivals and events each year, and attracts roughly 400,000 visitors to their celebrations annually. Family-friendly activities include Irish music, dancing, crafts, food, and more.
This list could go on forever. There are hundreds, if not thousands of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations throughout the country (and the world). Whether you’re looking for a family friendly celebration or a party, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding what you’re looking for nearby.
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