St. Patrick’s Day brings together people — Irish and honorary ones — together to commemorate the fifth-century patron saint of Ireland. And while it’s meant to honor a religious and cultural figure, it seems most people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by drinking way too much green beer during the day and partying well into the night. Celebrated on March 17, there have been many ideas on who, what and why St. Patrick’s Day is not just a holiday on the Emerald Isle. It’s an even bigger bash in the United States.
But before we get into that, let’s get to know the man and his holiday a little better. St. Patrick was actually born in Britain, not Ireland. But he ended up on the island after a band of Irish raiders attacked his British family home and took him captive. He was there for six years and worked as a shepherd. During that time in solitude, he turned to religion and eventually went back to Britain where he studied Christianity. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary where he spread the religion throughout the country.
So for centuries, Ireland celebrated the feast of St. Patrick on March 17 in a more solemn and reserved way. However, the party atmosphere started in the United States. After the potato famine struck the country, Irish immigrants fled to New York City. And the first known St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in the Big Apple in 1762. Today there are more than 100 parades throughout America with Boston and New York City being the largest of the celebrations.
After doing some research, we found the five cities that you should hop to if you want to see some of the happiest and wildest St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. Read more about them below.
5.) Hoboken, New Jersey
New York City may have the largest St. Patrick’s Day, with between 150,000 to 200,000 people attending the parade every year, but just across the Hudson River, Hoboken has its own green bash in March known as LepreCon. Although Hoboken is only two square miles, the New Jersey city doesn’t hold back when it comes to partying it up. In the last decade, Hoboken has served as the pre-party to the official Irish holiday by celebrating it on the first Saturday of March. While most drinking establishments normally open during the brunch hours, the event kicks off at 9am and goes throughout the day.
Although LepreCon is meant to be a joyous and fun day, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, make sure to stay classy and clean. While the bars in the city host the event every year, Hoboken is pretty strict when it comes to public drunkenness and disturbances. So there’s no issue with getting it, just keep it together. Also, be sure you stay warm and comfortable. Lines to get into bars can get long, especially in the late morning and early afternoon. So be sure you layer on the clothing since March can still be cold in New Jersey and wear your comfy shoes.