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10 of the Biggest and Best St Patrick’s Day Parades Around the World 2019

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. Be it a small ceilis, St. Patrick's Day parades or major festivals. 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.

Dublin, Ireland

St. Patrick’s Festival Dublin is renowned as the biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival in Ireland. It’s broadcasted live on Irish television networks. It’s the reason why thousands of visitors from around the world make their way to these green shores each year.

London, UK

Every year London celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a St Patrick’s Day Parade of a different theme. This year the theme is #LondonIsOpen. The parade which includes creatively designed floats, marching bands from across the UK, sports clubs and Irish dancing schools set off at midday from Piccadilly. 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.

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Munich, Germany

St. Patrick’s Day Festival Munich 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.

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

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Singapore

The St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival Singapore was first celebrated in 2006. Since then it has grown from strength to strength. The street festival takes place from March 15th to March 17th at Circular Road, Boat Quay. The St. Patrick’ Day parade of bagpipers, drummers, dancers and spectators usually starts at Raffles and ends at UOB Plaza on March 17th.

Green clothing not necessary on the free admission to the festivities, but it is recommended. Festivities include live music, food and drink, street performances, games and lots of dancing.

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Sydney, Australia

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival 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 at a new location, in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge, in an eclectic and artisan area called 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 a theme of “going back to our roots”, St. Patricks Day Sydney will be one to watch out for.

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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. 2019 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 at midday at the corner of Ponsonby Terrace and Ponsonby Road, then makes its way towards Western Park. At Western Park, the festival takes place, and it includes Irish dancing, food stalls, music and children’s activities.

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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. And celebrated it is, with a St. Patrick’s Day parade that starts at 3pm and takes in streets such as Avenida de Mayo, and ending up at Plaza San Martín for further festivities.

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.

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Montserrat, Caribbean

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! The Montserrat St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Slave Feast usually takes place at the Heritage Village in Salem at 1pm.

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Savannah, Georgia, U.S

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 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 Bull Street where it finishes up soon after. Festivities continue over on River Street, with food and drink stalls, and live music and entertainment, the later going into the wee hours.

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Chicago, U.S.A

Approximately 400,000 spectators visit downtown Chicago each St Patrick’s Day to witness the Chicago River turn green. The ritual which has been in place for over 50 years certainly is a sight to behold, and behold it you must as the emerald green colour only last about five hours. So if you miss it, you’ll just have to wait a year.

Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which starts at midday, is one of the largest in the country. It takes approximately three hours from its start on Columbus Drive to its finish line of Monroe Drive. Expect to see an abundance of colourful floats, Irish dancers, marching bands, bagpipers, school and sports clubs and organisations. 

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New York City, U.S.A

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. And 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.

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