• The guide to St. Patrick's Day travel

    2014-03-11

    You may not find any leprechauns this St. Patrick's Day, but you can find exciting festivities, fun festivals and even green rivers - if you know where to look. Most large cities take advantage of the Irish-based holiday and throw exuberant parades for their citizens. Distributing food, drinks and prizes, these celebrations are exciting for people from all over the world, not just those native to the area. This spring, consider traveling to one of these cities to experience a one-of-a-kind St. Patty's Day:

    Chicago dyes the river
    Visit the Windy City during St. Patrick's Day and you'll get to see the infamous green river. Each year, officials in the city add loads of green dye to make the river reflect the celebrations held by the people. However, due to an unusually bitter winter, the Chicago River is currently frozen, causing concern among its citizens. According to WGN-Chicago, however, city officials have already begun planning in case the river is not ready come March 17. The source details that while the freeze may be concerning now, Tom Rowan, who has been dying the river for 52 years, explained that the river would thaw in time.

    "The next few days it's going to be upper 30s and 40s," Rowan explained. "And all you need is that and a couple days of solar and it's over with."

    See the world's largest parade in New York
    According to The Huffington Post, this St. Patrick's Day parade is the largest in the U.S., boasting more than 2 million visitors per year. While other events are riddled with large floats and balloons, the New York City one features nearly 200,000 marchers, including those donning kilts, bagpipes and kicky dance moves. Bars around the city open their doors at 11 a.m. to accommodate the large number of visitors to the area. The New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade website claims that families have been hosting the event for more than 250 years, intentionally placing the focus on Ireland's heritage and culture.

    Visit the holiday's origins in Dublin
    Europe travel enthusiasts should consider venturing to Dublin, Ireland, to participate in festivities from the homeland. The Huffington Post explains that this parade does host floats, colorful costumes and street performances from the nation's citizens. For an entire weekend, the city transforms into a cultural celebration, hosting a number of events that include film, comedy and sports. Visitors to the area have the chance to watch performances, participate in festivities and even visit some of the countries oldest and most authentic pubs.

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