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  • Connie Cupples

10 Reasons to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day In New York City

Updated: Mar 15

No doubt, St. Patrick's Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year in New York City. Irish or not, get ready to paint the town green.

If you happen to be in New York City on St. Patrick's Day, you are in luck! This town knows how to celebrate as a city with a large Irish population. A party with a parade, fantastic Irish pubs, restaurants serving premium Irish fare, and some of the best whiskeys and beer on the planet, the festival has something for everyone.

Get ready to paint the town green, and this article will show you how. You can catch a glimpse of some of the best Irish culture throughout New York City, with all the historical and theatrical productions showcasing the day's celebrations.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Oh, what a day for a parade! New York City has the biggest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country and the oldest. Dating back to 1762, this city knows how to throw a party.

Get your green on, whether you're Irish or not. The parade marches down 5th Avenue and concludes on 79th Street. This parade is like no other, and the big apple does not disappoint.

A parade of green blasts through midtown Manhattan for approximately five and a half hours each year.

Enjoy The Numerous Pubs

Raise a glass and toast the day in any of the numerous bars and pubs around the city. Just to mention a few:

  • Connolly's Pub & Restaurant - Rustic and colorful, this is a storybook venue.

  • The Playwright Irish Pub - Great sports bar

  • The Red Lion - Live music located in Greenwich Village

  • Molly's Pub - You will feel like you are in Ireland

  • Ryan's Daughter - freshly tapped Guinness plus free chips

Ireland has a tradition of dyeing its rivers green, but the beer that shares the same color is not Irish.

Sample Authentic Irish Food

With a high population of Irish folks living in New York City, the demand for authentic home cooking is unparalleled. Corned beef, Irish soda bread, bangers and mash, beef brisket, and some good old fashion Irish stew are waiting for you at some of New York's Irish restaurants.

Shepherd's Pie is a traditional dish throughout the U.K. and is also a popular dish in Ireland.

A grand St. Patrick's Day celebration is planned at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square.

If you prefer something smaller and cozier, check out Dylan Murphy's. A limited menu is filled with traditional Irish favorites such as shepherd's pie, boxty, beef, and Guinness stew.

Get Into the Spirit With Some Irish Whiskey

If you want to take an Irish whiskey class, St. Patrick's Day is the time to do it. Allow a whiskey sommelier to teach you about several different Irish whiskeys at The Flatiron Room.

Get out those bucket lists, booze nerds, and be sure to add Copper & Oak to them.

Several whiskey bars in New York City are straight-up the best:

  • The Dead Rabbit - Enormous selection

  • Brandy Library - Don't let the name fool you - rare and distinctive whiskeys

  • Angel's Share - Cozy, hole in the wall

  • On the Rocks - Exotic whiskey brands

Participate In a Pub Crawl

Pub crawls are one of the most fun adult activities going on. Bar hopping is similar. A pub crawl allows you to experience the spirits of many different bars or pubs at a set cost. This is especially great when you are unfamiliar with the city's offerings.

Another advantage of a guided pub crawl is that you get to meet many new people and talk to some of the locals.

Here are a couple of popular crawls:

  • Crawl for Gold - Main pub crawl on St. Patrick's Day

  • St. Patty's Luck of the Irish Pub Crawl - Includes more than 10 bars

Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral

Whether you are spiritual or not, visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This beautiful building is a great symbol of faith in the city's pulse.

Three of NYC's most popular holiday traditions center around St. Patrick's Cathedral - midnight mass on Christmas Eve, the world's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade, and the Easter Parade.

A Gothic cathedral of national significance, it is the largest in the country and spans an entire city block. Tourists flock to this church daily to learn about its history and marvel at its magnificence.

Irish-American History

Take a break from the bar scene and learn about some Irish-American history. Be culturally inspired at the Tenement Museum by learning about a struggling Irish immigrant family overcoming prejudice in a new land.

St. Patrick's Day originated as a religious holiday but has now become a grand celebration of Irish sentiments. Congressionally, March was designated Irish American Heritage Month in 1991 as a tribute to the millions of Irish who immigrated to America and their descendants, who were instrumental in building the United States.

Celtic Dancing

Celtic Odyssey is a dance production performed for all ages. This group of talented dancers embodies a combination of Irish dancers, musicians, and singers with electrifying storytelling and beautiful choreography.

Many theatrical productions incorporate this Irish dance into their performance. Riverdance will continue its critically acclaimed tour in 53 cities across the country during its 25th anniversary year.

Ireland's St. Paddy's Day dancing is more legitimate than in other countries. Celtic dance can be done solo or in large groups. Concentration is on the footwork while keeping the upper body steady.

Party Cruise

Break away from the crowds and take a cruise around the city. At night, see the Manhattan skyline illuminated in breathtaking splendor.

You will be entertained with lively Irish tunes and served delicious Irish cocktails while you enjoy the view. You can have indoor seating or take advantage of the upper deck for a panoramic view.

Cruises can be taken during the day or sunset, but nighttime cruises are the most popular. You are in a city that never sleeps, especially on St. Patrick's Day.

Visit The Irish Hunger Memorial

The Irish Hunger Memorial is located in Battery Park City. Dedicated to the Great Irish Famine, it reminds us that hunger will prevail without access to land.

The memorial comprises an abandoned stone cottage, barren potato fields, and flora from the north Connacht wetlands in Ireland. Visitors can download an app to take a guided tour of the memorial.

This quarter of an acre Irish spot on New York City turf will always remind visitors of the 1 million Irish who died from famine.

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