Irish pubs, Irish history, Irish spirit, and a parade that's been a tradition for more than a century: Boston is America's best destination if you want to celebrate St.Patrick's Day with gusto in 2020. Many themed events are scheduled in the city during the weeks surrounding St. Patrick's Day on March 17. There are concerts, corned beef dinners, Boston Celtics home games, and major celebrations like those hosted by Harpoon Brewery and the Irish Cultural Centre of New England in Canton, a suburb south of Boston.
Don't Miss South Boston's Famous St. Patrick's Day Parade
The highlight of the festivities is always the annual Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, a South Boston tradition that dates back 119 years as of 2020. To be there among the raucous crowd all decked out in green is to truly "get" that this is America's most Irish city. More than 21% of Bostonians are descended from Irish immigrants.
Here are the details you'll need if you plan to be among this year's parade spectators.
When is Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade?
For 2020, the St. Patrick's Day Parade is scheduled for Sunday, March 15: two days before St. Patrick's Day. It's still winter in Boston (spring officially arrives on Thursday, March 19), and chances are good you'll need to bundle up if you're going, although you'll see some Bostonians in shorts pretty much any time the temperature tops 40 degrees. The parade is the largest of the many St. Patrick's Day events held in and around Boston each year.
Where is the Parade Held?
The St. Patrick's Day Parade is held in South Boston (a.k.a. "Southie"), the city's most Irish neighborhood.
What Time Does the 2019 Parade Begin?
The St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston begins at 1 p.m.; it typically runs for about two and a half hours.
How Many People Attend Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade?
An estimated 600,000 to 1 million people attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston each year. You'll need to arrive early to stake out a viewing spot along the parade route. Wear green if you want to fit in! A leprechaun hat, fake beard, green beads, and green face paint are all optional, but when in Boston on St. Patrick's Day, you'd might as well let your Irish pride shine.
Where is the Best Place to Watch the Parade?
The parade begins at the Broadway MBTA station and ends at Andrew Square. Your best bet for viewing the parade is to stake out a spot anywhere along Broadway. Head to Medal of Honor Park (775 East 1st Street) if you want to avoid the craziest crowds. This map shows the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade route.
There are several popular pubs along the parade route, where you can watch the parade with a pint of Guinness or Sam Adams in your hand. Arrive early if you want to get anywhere near Amrheins, Shenannigans, or The Playwright Bar.
What Are the Parade's Highlights?
Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade features dozens of bagpipe and marching bands from Ireland, Boston, and across the United States, plus colorful floats and more.
Can I Get to the Parade Without Having to Drive and Park?
Yes—Take the "T," Boston's subway. You'll want to take the Red Line to either the Broadway "T" station or the Andrew "T" station. Driving in from west of the city? You can park on the MassPike and take the "T" into the city.
Can I See Photos of Past St. Patrick's Day Parades in Boston?
Need a Hotel Room in Boston?
Boston Discovery Guide has rounded up a list of hotels that are convenient for parade-goers.
For More Information About Visiting Boston for the St. Patrick's Day Parade: Call the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau toll-free at 888-SEE-BOSTON.