Travel Picks: Top 10 St Patrick's Day parades

Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:47pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - An Irish Mardi Gras of sorts, St. Patrick's Day parades are filled with music, food, tradition and revelry, and take over the streets of these world-class cities. From green rivers to flying potatoes, online travel adviser's ( has drilled down to the best of the best of the St. Patrick's Day parades across the globe. Reuters does not endorse this list:

1. Chicago

The Irish Miracle started in 1962, when the city of Chicago dumped orange dye into the river and it turned the entire thing green. Saturday, March 12th, they'll do it again. The best places to see the spectacle are the East side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the West side of the Columbus Drive Bridge or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. After that, the parade kicks off on Balbo Ave and Columbus Drive in Grant Park at noon.

2. London

Which will draw more celebration -- St. Patrick's Day or Kate and Will's Royal Wedding? We're betting on the latter, but more than 100,000 people are expected to celebrate on Sunday, March 13 to watch colorful floats, marching bands, and Irish groups to raise a glass to Ireland. Specific groups will represent Irish counties, there will be performances of traditional and contemporary dance, and the parade will process through central London from Green Park to Trafalgar Square at noon.

3. Sydney

While most of these locales require patrons to button up and brave the cold, Sydney will celebrate its Irish heritage in sizzling sunshine. On Sunday, March 20, parade goers will don green sunglasses and green t-shirts. Fun-filled and exciting, the parade will represent all 32 counties, and have plenty of floats, costumes, music and Irish traditions. Keep an eye out for the green fountains all over the city.

4. Boston

The first St. Patrick's Day celebration in the U.S. was in Boston in 1737, and the first parade came along in 1901. Now, more than 600,000 parade goers rally each year to watch marching bands, pipe bands, and green-wearing partiers celebrate through South Boston. This year, it will be held on March 20, and begin on Broadway, through West and East Broadway, and then onto Thomas Park, Telegraph Street, and end in Andrew Square. Even if you can't catch the parade, the city's many Irish pubs go nuts for the festivities.   Continued...

<p>A boat dyes the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day in Chicago March 17, 2007. REUTERS/John Gress</p>