Guide to St. Patrick's Day in Boston: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

St. Patrick's Day parade in South Boston

 Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Flickr

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 Saturday in 2019, and the city has festivities planned leading up to and during the holiday week. 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.

Boston also 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.

Here's a sampling of some scheduled St. Patrick's Day events in Boston.

01 of 09

Beer and Irish Rock and Roll

306 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210, USA
+1 617-456-2322

Head to Harpoon Brewery in Boston for the Harpoon St. Patrick's Festival March 8-9, 2019 featuring food vendors selling corned beef and more, a cash bar (you'll want to try Irish red Harpoon The Craic) and live Irish and rock and roll bands from the Boston area. Then, on Sunday, March 10, you can join revelers at the eighth annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash and jump into Boston Harbor to benefit Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.

02 of 09

A Little Bit of Ireland

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Reagle Players as they present A Little Bit of Ireland March 17-18 at the Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham, Massachusetts. Buy tickets online, or call 781-891-5600.

03 of 09

St. Patrick's Day at the JFK Library and Museum

Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125, USA
+1 617-514-1600

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president, may well be the most famous Irish American in history. 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. A special exhibit currently on view, JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos, features 100 artifacts including some never-before-seen personal belongings in honor of the president's 100th birthday year. On Saturday, March 10, the JFK Library hosts a performance by The Irish Balladeers. This free performance is for families with children 5 and up, and attendees must pre-register by completing an online form. For more information, call 617-514-1600 or toll-free, 866-JFK-1960.

04 of 09

Irish Punk

15 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215, USA
+1 888-693-2583

Boston's own Irish-punk group, the​ ​Dropkick Murphys, take over the​ House of Blues on Lansdowne Street in Boston for a series of 6 p.m. shows on March 14, 15, 16 and 17. Get your tickets here.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston

Join the 600,000 to 1 million people who'll turn out for this year's 117th St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston. The parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, 2019, 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 844-4ST-PATS (844-478-7287).

06 of 09

Other Parades in Massachusetts

St. Patrick's Day parades are also held in these Massachusetts cities and towns: Abington, Lawrence, Scituate, Worcester and Holyoke, as well as in Yarmouth on Cape Cod. The Boston Irish Tourism Association has details.

07 of 09

Irish Cultural Centre St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114-1303, USA

The Irish Cultural Centre of New England in Canton, Massachusetts, holds a St. Patrick's Day Celebration for Children featuring Irish dance, crafts, a sing-a-long and Irish Fairy Grandmother's Magic Show from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 17. All are welcome, and the $7 admission includes baked goods, tea and coffee. Corned beef and cabbage will be served all day, and there will be traditional Irish music and dancing late into the evening. Admission is $10 after 4 p.m. For more information, call 781-821-8291.

08 of 09

Irish Film Festival

In Boston after St. Patrick's Day? Celebrate the city's Irish heritage at the 18th annual Boston ​Irish Film Festival, which runs March 22-25, 2018.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

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're hosting a St. Patrick's Day Dinner Show with six seatings, and there is a noon performance on Sunday, March 18, as well. Tickets are just $25 including a meal of traditional Irish favorites. Gayot has more ideas for ​​St. Patrick's Day dining in Boston.

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Things to Do for St. Patrick's Day in Boston