Photo source: Flickr
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! Are you a diehard fan of this fun celebration always on the lookout for new destinations to explore next? If so, then you’ll love these off the beaten track St. Patrick Day Celebrations. These places throw some of the best, or at least most unique, St. Patty’s Day parties. You might just find a new annual tradition.
Witness the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hot Springs, Arkansas
The parade route is a whopping 98 feet down Bridge Street, named the "world’s shortest street in everyday use" by Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Don’t worry; there is still plenty to see.
With Celebrity Grand Marshal Alfonso Ribiero of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Dancing with the Stars fame officiating as well as over 35 entries, the parade will entertain and amaze you for over an hour.
Take a selfie as the world’s largest inflatable Leprechaun floats by, marvel at a fire truck as long as the parade route, and witness the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as they pump up the crowd.
The festival starts off by the laying of a wreath on the grave of US Navy sailor, John King, of Ballinrobe, Ireland. He was one of only nineteen soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor twice.
Make sure not to miss "Romancing the Stone", a contest to see who can lay the best kiss on the Arkansas Blarney Stone. Round out the festivities by dancing the night away during the free post-parade concert by Uncle Kracker. For the 2017 schedule and more, check out the First Ever Fourteenth Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Visit New London, Wisconsin to Enjoy a Traditional Irish Céili and Mourn Poor ol’ Finnegan
If you cannot make it across the pond to Dublin this year, then visit New Dublin! That’s what the mischievous leprechauns rename the city of New London during the week of St. Patrick’s.
Tuesday is Houligan Day, when you can watch or join in Finnegan’s Wake. The mock funeral procession parades down the street, complete with an antique hearse, coffin, and surprising antics. Enjoy corned beef and cabbage and as much Irish beer as you can stand at several of the town’s restaurants and bars.
On Wednesday join in the Irish caroling. Learn traditional Irish drinking songs and sing-alongs. Don’t worry, song lyrics are provided.
Thursday is Irish Entertainment night where local talent performs traditional Irish songs, dances, and storytelling. Friday, dance the night away at a traditional Irish Céili, a social gathering that dates back hundreds of years.
Saturday watch the Grand Parade through downtown, and spend the day at the Irish Fest, boasting food, drink, market booths and bands.
If you are looking for a right craic, an Irish word meaning a good time, then plan on celebrating the whole week.
Take a Picture on the World’s Largest Permanent Shamrock in Nebraska’s Irish Capital
O’Neill, Nebraska is home to a gigantic concrete shamrock visible even on Google Maps. Each year they repaint it at the start of the celebration. This ‘Irish Capital’ does St. Patrick’s Day right with a full slate of entertaining events and activities.
Shenanigans include a shamrock duck hunt, a dodgeball tournament, and "Getting the Horse Green" which actually involves painting the infamous Green Horse which spends the rest of the year a boring white color. Witness the crowning of the Irish King and Queen, donkeys playing basketball, lots and lots of dancing, and the city’s only parade of the year.
The library even hosts a reading of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, followed by a delightful, and theme appropriate, breakfast. There is always something fun to see and do in O’Neill. No wonder they have been Nebraska’s Irish Capital for almost 50 years.
Where is the most unusual place you’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day?
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