There is nowhere better to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than in the land that the day is celebrating, Ireland.
You’ll find parades and people going out for drinks in every city, town, and village in the country. But, some of them are better than others. Here are a few of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
Cork comes alive for the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day as thousands take to the streets to watch one of the most lively and unique parades on the entire island.
Along with the traditional parade you can find music, puppetry, and there is even a food festival that takes place that weekend.
Dingle is one of the few places you’ll ever find two parades taking place on the same day!
This County Kerry town, in the Irish speaking Gaeltacht region, is renowned for it's parades both on Saint Patrick's Day, and after Christmas on Saint Stephen's Day, to celebrate Wren Day.
But two parades occur on Saint Patrick's Day in this westerly Irish town.
One is geared more towards the locals while the other is more popular with the tourists.
Which one do you go to? The only real answer is both of course.
Without a doubt Dublin has the biggest and most popular St. Patrick’s Day Festival in all of Ireland.
Two million people, that’s almost half the population of Ireland, will be in town for the big event.
While you can find musical performances and history lessons all across the city for an entire week of the festival the big draw is the parade followed up by a night of drinking in the streets.
If you ever ask anywhere where you should go in Ireland for the craic (that’s a good time in Ireland) you will always be told, Galway.
Why is that? Galway is first and foremost a college town which means it has a vibrant nightlife, amazing art, and incredibly friendly people.
All of that translates into one of the best Paddy’s Day events in Ireland. If I was handing out prizes, Galway would win for the St. Patrick’s Day with the Best Atmosphere.
Gorgeous Kilkenny is not only one of the best destinations in all of Ireland it is also a fantastic place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
15,000 people attend the Paddy’s Day parade and unlike some of the bigger cities, you’re far more likely to find yourself surrounded by local families out for a good time.
While you’re in Kilkenny you can check out some of the amazing history, try great food, and watch some amazing traditional performances of music, theater, art, and dance.
Waterford was one of the first places in Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
The holiday actually got its start on the east coast of the United States and then later made its way to Ireland.
One of the first places to adopt it was Waterford City. They have a fantastic parade with floats, music, and everything else you’d expect to find in a Paddy’s Day celebration.
Greystones, County Wicklow
If you want to get away from the heavy mass of tourists and experience St. Patrick’s Day like the locals do then I recommend going to Greystones in County Wicklow.
They have a much smaller parade that is filled with local school children and all their families come out to watch.
Later you’ll find the few pubs in the village have filled to the brim. Best of all Greystones is just an hour away from Dublin by public transportation.
And there you have it - a quick round up of the amazing parades and festivities around Ireland for Saint Patrick's Day.
Let's keep our fingers crossed these celebrations can go ahead this year, and that they will not be affected by the outbreak of coronavirus around the globe before Saint Patrick's Day 2020.
But if these festivities are canceled this year, you can always celebrate our patron saint in the safety of your home.
Above all, stay healthy and happy this Saint Patrick's Day.
Update: On March 9th, 2020 the Irish government cancelled the Saint Patrick's Day parades around the country to avoid large group gatherings and to decrease the risk of spreading the corona virus. I hope everyone still enjoys their Saint Patrick's Day in Ireland, even if it is a little bit more low key than usual.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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