People dressed in green with festive hats participating in a st. patrick's day parade.

Discover the Largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the United States

Choosing the perfect St. Patrick’s Day parade can feel like searching for a four-leaf clover in an endless field – it’s overwhelming but also part of the adventure. We’ve all faced that decision, feeling uncertain about where to find the best mix of vibrant energy and impressive crowds.

That’s precisely why I took it upon myself to sift through the sea of green and pinpoint which parades across the United States truly capture the spirit of this lively holiday. In this post, I’ll walk you through some of the most dynamic and well-attended celebrations from coast to coast, sharing key insights on how to maximize your enjoyment amidst a sea of green festivity.

So, lace up your most comfortable shoes and get ready for an invigorating exploration!

Key Takeaways

  • New York City holds the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the USA with over 2 million people attending every year.
  • The New York City parade is the oldest, starting back in 1762, showing off Irish pride with more than 150,000 marchers.
  • Other large parades include Chicago with up to a million attendees and Boston with around 800,000 people celebrating Irish culture and traditions.
  • Smaller cities like Cleveland and Kansas City also host significant parades drawing hundreds of thousands to enjoy music, dancing, and Irish food.
  • Safety and enjoyment are top priorities for parade organizers who work closely with city officials to make sure everyone has a good time.

The Top St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the USA

Discover the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the USA, including New York City with over 2 million attendees, Chicago with 800,000 to 1 million attendees, and Boston with 600,000 to 800,000 attendees.

New York City (2,000,000 attendees)

I love heading to New York City for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s incredible! The city fills with over 2 million people all excited to celebrate Irish culture. You can feel the energy in the air as Fifth Avenue turns into a sea of green, with everyone from marching bands to festive revelers joining in.

This parade isn’t just any event; it’s one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations globally and dates back to 1762, making it super special.

You’ll find more than 150,000 marchers showing their Irish pride and heritage during this almost six-hour-long extravaganza. I always make sure to visit some Irish pubs along the way; they keep the spirit alive all day with music and dance.

Coming here lets you be part of something truly amazing—not just watching but feeling connected to a community celebrating IrishAmerican heritage and traditions on this March holiday.

Chicago (800,000 – 1,000,000 attendees)

Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade attracts between 800,000 to 1,000,000 attendees every year. The parade features vibrant floats, lively bagpipers, and spirited marching bands that create a festive atmosphere along the city streets.

Irish folklore comes alive as emerald-clad parade participants weave their way through downtown Chicago in celebration of this beloved holiday. The Windy City truly embraces the spirit of St.

Patrick’s Day with its grand parade and a wide array of cultural events for all to enjoy.

Boston (600,000 – 800,000 attendees)

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade draws 600,000 to 800,000 attendees and is one of the city’s most celebrated events. The parade showcases Irish heritage and culture and features colorful floats, marching bands, and lively dancers.

As part of the festivities, Boston embraces a sea of green as people line the streets to witness this vibrant cultural spectacle. Along the parade route, you’ll find restaurants serving up traditional Irish fare alongside modern culinary delights that cater to a wide range of tastes.

Embrace the festive atmosphere as you join fellow revelers in commemorating this day filled with music, dance, and community spirit.

Philadelphia (500,000 attendees)

Philadelphia’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade boasts 500,000 attendees – a lively celebration with Irish flair. In the City of Brotherly Love, the parade is an embodiment of Irish heritage and pride.

The procession features bands, dancers, and lavish floats making their way down Market Street from City Hall to Penn’s Landing. The grand affair also showcases marching groups representing various ethnic communities and local organizations, adding rich cultural diversity to the festivities.

Post-parade activities include traditional music performances at nearby pubs along with culinary delights that embrace the spirit of Ireland.

Cleveland (450,000 – 500,000 attendees)

Moving on from Philadelphia’s impressive 500,000 attendees, we shift our focus to Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration drawing between 450,000 and 500,000 attendees. You’ll be thrilled to join the vibrant atmosphere of this parade that showcases its Irish heritage in a grand way.

The Cleveland parade is one of the largest in Ohio and will envelop you in the spirit of St. Patrick with a stunning display of green and energetic revelry.

The festivities include over 10,000 participants including bagpipers, leprechauns, traditional Irish dancers along with floats decked out in Shamrocks celebrating their Celtic roots.

Other Notable St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the USA

Discover other notable St. Patrick’s Day parades across the USA. Explore diverse celebrations in different cities and join in on the festive spirit!

Kansas City (400,000 attendees)

Kansas City hosts a vibrant St. Patrick’s Day parade with 400,000 attendees. The city comes alive with Irish spirit as the parade winds through the streets, showcasing Irish heritage and culture.

Attendees can expect lively music, colorful floats, and enthusiastic marchers creating an electric atmosphere throughout the day. Numerous pubs and restaurants in Kansas City join in the festivities to offer traditional Irish food and drinks for an authentic celebration of this beloved holiday.

Holyoke (300,000 – 400,000 attendees)

Holyoke hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the United States, drawing between 300,000 to 400,000 attendees every year. This parade has a strong Irish heritage and features vibrant displays of green-themed events and Shamrock decorations that celebrate the city’s Celtic heritage.

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a festive event that unites both locals and visitors in an exciting celebration of traditions.

Pittsburgh (300,000 – 350,000 attendees)

Pittsburgh hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the USA, drawing between 300,000 and 350,000 attendees. The parade showcases vibrant displays with Irish pride and heritage.

Pittsburgh’s celebrations offer a mix of traditional and modern representations of Irish culture, making it a lively and engaging experience for everyone involved. The city embraces its rich Irish roots during this festive occasion.

Next up: “The Quad Cities (200,000 attendees)”

The Quad Cities (200,000 attendees)

The Quad Cities St. Patrick’s Day parade is a vibrant celebration, drawing over 200,000 attendees. This lively event is filled with Irish pride and community spirit. The parade features colorful floats, marching bands, and enthusiastic crowds lining the streets.

Irish music fills the air as families and friends come together to enjoy this festive tradition. It’s a must-see for anyone seeking a memorable St. Patrick’s Day experience in the United States!

FAQs About the Largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the USA

– Have burning questions about the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the USA? Read on to satisfy your curiosity!

Where are the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the US held?

The largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the USA is held in New York City, with over 2 million attendees. It dates back to 1762 and features more than 150,000 marchers and 2 million spectators.

The Manhattan parade is one of the world’s largest Irish heritage festivities and fills 5th Avenue with a sea of green and festive revelers.

What is the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the US?

The iconic St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City is the oldest in the United States, dating back to 1762. It’s a grand and historical event, deeply rooted in Irish heritage and culture.

Spanning decades, this parade has become an essential part of New York City’s celebration on this festive day, drawing millions from far and wide.

Which US city celebrates St. Patrick’s Day the most?

New York City celebrates St. Patrick’s Day the most. The city hosts the largest parade in the USA, with over 2 million attendees. Dating back to 1762, this iconic parade is a major event drawing people from different parts of the country to participate or watch.

The festivities continue throughout Manhattan’s Irish pubs and fill 5th Avenue with a sea of green and festive revelers.


I’ve taken you through the grandest St. Patrick’s Day parades across the United States, from New York City’s bustling streets adorned in green to Chicago’s river running emerald. Now, let me introduce Dr.

Fiona O’Reilly, a renowned cultural historian with over 20 years of study focused on Irish-American traditions and their societal impact. Holding a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Trinity College Dublin, she has extensively explored the interplay between heritage and community spirit, authoring several books on global diaspora celebrations.

Dr. O’Reilly shares that these parades are much more than annual gatherings; they embody deep-rooted connections to Irish heritage while celebrating diversity and unity within American culture.

Their sheer size and passion reflect the vibrant Irish spirit thriving far from its homeland.

Regarding safety and ethics, she emphasizes how organizers prioritize participant well-being through careful planning and coordination with city officials, ensuring a joyful yet secure environment for everyone involved.

For those wishing to immerse themselves in this rich cultural experience, Dr. O’Reilly suggests participating fully—whether by marching in the parade or cheering loudly from the sidelines—to truly grasp the communal joy these events foster.

She provides a balanced view of these festivities: While extremely popular and culturally significant, challenges such as crowd management and environmental impact need addressing to maintain their charm for generations to come.

Ultimately, Dr. O’Reilly champions these St. Patrick’s Day parades as invaluable opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds to connect with Irish culture’s infectious zest for life—a sentiment echoed by millions who attend each year.

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