If you can't get to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day, Boston may be your next best bet!
St. Patrick's Day falls on a Monday in 2014, and the city has festivities planned leading up to and during the holiday weekend. St. Patrick's Day draws more than 600,000 visitors to Boston--a city with a long-standing Irish tradition. Boston held America's first St. Patrick's Day celebration in 1737, and the city still boasts one of the nation's largest St. Patrick's Day parades, plus more Irish pubs than any other place in the USA. Here's a sampling of some scheduled St. Patrick's Day events in Boston:
Beer and Irish Rock and Roll
Head to the Harpoon Brewery in Boston for the Harpoon St. Patrick's Festival March 7-8 featuring food vendors selling corned beef and more, a cash bar (you'll want to try the Celtic Red) and live Irish and Rock and Roll bands from the Boston area.
Boston's own Irish-punk group, the Dropkick Murphys, take over the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street in Boston for a series of 7 p.m. shows on March 13, 14, 15 and 16. There's also a 2 p.m. show on Saturday, March 15. The Dropkick Murphys play Boston's Lansdowne Pub on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
A Little Bit of Ireland
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Reagle Players as they present A Little Bit of Ireland March 15-16 at the Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham. Buy tickets online, or call 781-891-5600.
Irish Cultural Centre St. Patrick's Celebration
For four days in 2014, March 14 through 17, head to the Irish Cultural Centre of New England for a St. Patrick's Day Celebration featuring Irish music, dance and food. There is an admission fee. For more information, call 781-821-8291.
St. Patrick's Day at the JFK Library and Museum
John F. Kennedy, 35th president, may well be the most famous Irish American. March is a perfect time to visit the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Three special exhibits are currently on view: A Nation Remembers, To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, and In Her Voice: Jacqueline Kennedy, The White House Years. On Saturday, March 15, the JFK Library hosts a performance by the Greene O'Leary School of Irish Dancing. This free performance is for families with children 5 and up, and attendees must pre-register by completing this online form. For more information, call 617-514-1600 or toll free, 866-JFK-1960.
St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston
Join the 600,000 to 1 million people who'll turn out for this year's 113th St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston. The parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 16, 2014 beginning at the MBTA station on West Broadway and ending in Andrew Square. Your best bet for viewing the parade is to stake out a spot anywhere along Broadway--get there early. The two-and-a-half-hour parade features floats and dozens of marching bands and pipe bands from Ireland and across the United States. For more information, call 781-436-3377.
Other Parades in Massachusetts
St. Patrick's Day parades are also held in the Massachusetts towns of Abington (March 16), Scituate (March 16), Worcester (March 9) and Holyoke (March 23), as well as in Yarmouth on Cape Cod (March 8). The Boston Irish Tourism Association has details.
Wear Your Green
Wear your green on Friday night, March 14, as the Boston Celtics take on the Phoenix Suns at the TD Garden or on Wednesday, March 19, when Boston's team plays the NBA champions, the Miami Heat. Find tickets.
Irish Film Festival
Can't get to Boston until later in the month? You can still celebrate the city's Irish heritage at the 14th annual Boston Irish Film Festival, which runs March 20-23.
Did You Know...
Boston has its own 20-site Irish Heritage Trail. It was first described in a book titled Guide to the New England Irish by Michael P. Quinlin, Colette Minogue Quinlin and Colene M. Minogue, which is now out of print. Maps are available at the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau's Boston Common Visitor Center and at the Prudential Center Visitor Information Center.
So you wanna know where you can find corned beef and cabbage in Boston?
Durgin Park near Faneuil Hall is known for its traditional New England Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinners. Call 617-227-2038 for a serving schedule. The Burren Pub in Somerville is another ideal place to dine out on St. Patrick's Day. On March 17, they'll start the morning with a full Irish breakfast, and corned beef and cabbage and other Irish dishes will be served throughout the day. Live music is also on the menu all day.
Keep in mind that Dine Out Boston (formerly Boston Restaurant Week) begins on March 16 this year, so you'll be able to enjoy great dining deals, as well, if you're visiting the city during St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Cook Up Your Own Irish Feast
If you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day at home, I've compiled a great collection of Irish recipes from New England.
The Boston Irish Tourism Association has a round-up of more Irish Exhibits and Events in Massachusetts throughout the month of March. And while you're driving around in Boston, tune in WROL Irish Hit Parade Radio at 950 AM on your dial.