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9 of the biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th each year. In Ireland almost every town and village celebrates the day in some way or another. But ever wonder how the rest of the world celebrates St. Patrick's Day? This post brings to you a glimpse of some of the biggest and best St. Patrick's Day parades from around the world.
Green beer for St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick's Day parades around the world

9 of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world

1. London, UK

*Update: This event has now been cancelled

Tower Bridge illuminated at night, London

Every year London celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a St Patrick’s Day Parade of a different theme. This year the theme is #Women in sport (13-15 March 2020). The parade, which includes creatively designed floats, marching bands from across the UK, sports clubs and Irish dancing schools, sets off at midday from Hyde Park Corner. It then makes its way past some of London’s most iconic landmarks, including The Ritz, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and onto Whitehall. 

The celebrations don’t stop when the parade ends as the festival kicks in at Trafalgar Square with live music, food stalls, markets along with child-friendly entertainment, workshops and activities.

2. Munich, Germany

*Update: This event has now been cancelled

Marienplatz in Munich, Germany - best St. Patrick's Day parades around the world

St. Patrick’s Day Festival Munich (14-15 March 2020) is one of the biggest parades in Europe. It’s actually the largest multicultural event in Munich after the Oktoberfest and the carnival parade! The parade, which was first held in 1996, was estimated to attract 200 people when it was organised by a few native Irish and their friends. However 3000 people turned up. From then the parade and festival has grown from strength to strength.

Green hat - St. Patrick's Day parades around the world

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Munich starts at midday at Münchner Freiheit and ends in Odeonsplatz. Expect vibrant floats, entertainers, music and representation from number of Irish football and dancing clubs. At the end of the festival an after party takes place at Wittelsbacher Platz. Here you can expect the blessing of the shamrock and lots of ‘craic agus ceol’

3. Singapore

Singapore - St. Patrick's Day parades around the world

The St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival Singapore was first celebrated in 2006. Due to public health concerns the St Patrick’s Day Street Festival 2020 will not go ahead as planned. But part of the celebrations will still take place on Friday and Saturday 13th-14th March 2020 with bars along Circular Road organising plenty of happenings throughout the weekend.

READ MORE: Ireland Public Holidays: Turn 28 days of leave into 60 days of travel

4. Sydney, Australia

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (15 March 2020) in Sydney has had a few knock backs over the years. From bad weather resulting in a washout to city construction work. However it’s back this year in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge, in the eclectic and artisan area of The Rocks.

The parade promises to be a fun-filled family affair with an extensive parade highlighting Irish-based clubs, organisations and businesses from around Australia, with plenty of live music, storytelling, face painting, food and craft stalls. St. Patricks Day Sydney is always one to watch out for.

5. Auckland, New Zealand

St. Patrick’s Day Festival Auckland was born by a group of passionate Irishmen in 1995. The purpose was to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the connections they had made in New Zealand. Flash forward to 2018 and the festival saw thousands of festivalgoers celebrate the festival. 2020 is planned to welcome even more.

The festival aims to highlight cultural, sport and entertainment achievements by the Irish and friends of Ireland in New Zealand. Auckland’s St. Patrick’s Day parade starts with Hugh Green Group on Saturday March 14 at midday in Auckland’s Queen Street. The celebrations continue later in the day with the Irish Music and Dance Festival outside the Town Hall.

6. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Did you know that there are more than 500,000 Irish people in Argentina? Well with that many Irish it only makes sense that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. This year’s celebrations will take place on Avenida de Mayo and Peru streets, near the Plaza de Mayo.

A sea of green is expected each year as participants and spectators alike celebrate all things Irish including dancing and music. Hosted by the Argentina-Ireland Association, the Buenos Aires city government and the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires, St. Patrick’s Day parade and its party afterwards is the biggest in South America.

7. Montserrat, Caribbean

The active Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat

Montserrat is the only country outside of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday. And St. Patrick’s Day is certainly celebrated in style during a week-long schedule of Caribbean style festivities. And because St. Patrick’s Day is shared with the slave uprising which was planned on March 17th 1768, the celebrations are a combination of Montserrat’s African and Irish heritage. 

Expect live music, entertainment, food and drink and plenty of sunshine (6-18 March 2020)! The Montserrat St. Patrick’s Day Parade usually takes place at the Heritage Village in Salem at 1pm.

READ MORE: Top festivals around the world

8. Savannah, Georgia, U.S

*Update: This event has now been cancelled

Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a big affair. In fact with more than 300,000 people flocking to the city for the celebrations, it’s one of the largest in the world.

The annual parade (Tuesday 17 March 2020), which begins near Forsyth Park, features vibrant floats, horses, Irish dancers, musicians, street entertainers and performers. The parade takes in Abercorn Street and makes it way to the historic downtown district.

9. New York City, U.S.A

*Update: This event has now been cancelled

People celebrating St Patrick's Day in New York

New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest in the world. It attracts more than  two million people! The parade can be viewed along 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street from 11a.m. to 5p.m. 

There are no floats nor cars in the parade, which you might be surprised to read. And if you plan to view the parade from the Reviewing Stands, think twice about wearing a green hat or costume because they aren’t allowed.

However, rules aside there’s a reason the parade is so popular, with participant numbers that range between 150,000 to 250,000 playing instruments, dancing or performing along the route. It’s easy to understand why the tradition that dates back to 1762 has lasted and thrived.

READ MORE: The best festivals in Ireland

*Updated February 2020. Information correct at the time of publication and is subject to change and/or availability.

St. Patrick's Ireland

9 of the biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world

1. London, UK
2. Munich, Germany
3. Singapore
4. Sydney, Australia
5. Auckland, New Zealand
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina
7. Montserrat, Caribbean
8. Savannah, Georgia, U.S
9. New York City, U.S.A

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