Massachusetts rolls out its finest greenery each March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And why not, since 21% of residents claim Irish ancestry, making it the most Irish state in America, according to the US Census. The Irish community is one of dozens of ethnic communities from around the world that proudly call Massachusetts their home, and everyone is invited to enjoy the festivities.
- Every major city in this state has a St. Patrick’s Day parade however one of the most well known one happens in south Boston. The neighbourhood known as Southie was once a predominately Irish-Catholic neighbourhood, full of rich with Irish culture. Nearly one million visitors head to Southie each year to experience the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade which started over 115 years ago. The two-and-a-half-hour parade features spectacular floats and dozens of marching bands and pipe bands from Ireland and across North America.
More parades across the state include:
Sunday, March 17
- City of Abington parade begins at 1 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Square in Abington Center.
- City of Boston parade begins at 1 p.m. at West Broadway near the MBTA stop.
- City of Holyoke parade begins at noon at the Kmart Plaza on Route 5.
- Town of Scituate parade begins at 1 p.m. at Gate Middle School on First Parish Road.
Saturday, March 23
- City of Lawrence parade begins at 1 p.m. at Essex & Amesbury Streets
Sunday, March 24
- Town of Weymouth parade begins at 11 a.m. at Union Street
- The Irish Film Festival takes place at Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, on March 22-25 bringing documentaries, shorts and features made in Ireland such as Maze, Float like a Butterfly and Late Afternoon, which was nominated for an Oscar for animation.
- The Yarmouth Irish Festival on Cape Cod takes place on March 9, the day of the Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade.
- The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, a brand new facility in Springfield, celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with concerts and family activities on March 14 & 15.
- Old Sturbridge Village presents St. Patrick’s Dinner & Concert on March 16, with Irish music, poetry and storytelling, with music by Full Gael, plus a full dinner.
Music and Dance
- Canadian Celtic duo Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy performs at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester on March 15, and then the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center in New Bedford on March 17.
- St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn with WGBH radio host Brian O’Donovan, performs at Saunders Theatre in Cambridge on March 16 (2 shows) and The Cabot Theatre in Beverly on March 17, featuring the Friel Sisters
Irish Heritage Trail
- Explore Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods as you experience nearly 300 years of Irish history on the Irish Heritage Trail. This tour begins at the Rose Kennedy Garden near the waterfront and ends at Fenway Park, which was built 100 years ago by Irish immigrant Charles E. Logue. In total, they have compiled more than 70 Irish landmarks throughout Massachusetts. The Boston Irish Tourism Association is offering guided walking tours of Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll discover the Irish role in the Revolutionary War, learn about the 19th century Famine generation and the Irish part in the Civil War. And you’ll discover famous and infamous politicians – from Curley and White to Collin and the Kennedys – who put their indelible stamp on the history of the city and the nation.
- Lastly, you can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without stopping by an Irish pub! Located in the historic Faneuil Hall area of Boston, The Black Rose pub is celebrating its 36th birthday this year. With its authentic décor, live music seven nights a week, hearty food featuring traditional selections such as fish n’ chips, stews and corned beef, and of course, an endless supply Guinness, it’s no wonder this pub was awarded the ‘Best of Boston’ Irish Pub award.