On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, adorn yourself in head to toe green, dress up like a leprechaun, and join revelers who are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in New York City. The festivities are a celebration of the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish have long observed March 17th as a religious holiday. While in 21st century New York the tradition continues on, it’s hardly a religious affair. It is, however, the one day of the year that everyone seems to have a bit of Irish in them, as the day is celebrated across cultures and ethnic backgrounds. The city welcomes the fun with open arms, celebrating its Irish connection.
We’ve compiled a New York list of great ways to celebrate the Saint that drove the snakes out of Ireland.
The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade™
In the mid-nineteenth century, several New York Irish Aid societies combined their parades into one, which has become the official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade™. The Parade is one of the oldest civilian parades and the largest in the U.S. Almost 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the floats, listen to the bagpipes and marching bands, and celebrate Irish history and culture. The full-day event begins with mass at the historic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral at 8:30 am (tickets required) and the parade officially starts at 11 am and goes until 5 pm. You can view the parade along 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street.
Visit the Tenement Museum located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side for a look into what it was like to be an immigrant (from Ireland and elsewhere) in New York City in the 19th century. A visit through the museum shares the stories of hardships and discrimination immigrants suffered when they came to the U.S. It’s a moving way to understand what it meant to be an Irish-American in the 1860s and the spirit of survival and self-betterment that is part of the modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in NYC. The museum offers historical walking tours, tenement apartment tours, and the opportunity to explore themes of migration and immigration through various activities and events.
103 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
McSorley’s Ale House
St. Patrick’s Day in America has long been associated with a pint— or four. It’s a drinking kind of holiday. To do it right, visit one of the oldest pubs in all of New York. McSorley’s no-nonsense Ale House has been in business since 1854 with just two types of ale and a floor of sawdust for easy cleanup. The website has a full history of the long-standing Irish bar with plenty of fun photos. Grab a pint with friends, but go early as a line forms quickly on St. Patrick’s Day.
15 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003
Irish Arts Center’s 10th Annual Book Day
There’s nothing like a good book to transport you away, maybe even to Ireland. On March 17, the Irish Arts Center will create literary pop-up stands throughout the five boroughs (see their website for exact locations.) In all, the pop-up libraries will give out 10,000 books by Irish and Irish-American writers alongside work by writers from France and the French diaspora, in a tradition of honoring kindred voices and bridging diverse cultures.
The 11th Street Bar
For more fun, stop by the 11th Street Bar for live Irish music courtesy of the cover band, 50 Shades of Green. From 8:30 to 11 pm, they’ll be playing all the rock and roll hits of Ireland, from U2 to Van Morisson and everything in between. The 11th Street Bar is a modern blend of the classic Irish pub and a New York City Bar and on St. Patty’s Day, they’re about as Irish as it gets.
510 E. 11th Street
New York, NY 10009
Craic Fest 22
Catch an Irish flick at Craic Fest, the premier Irish film festival in New York. Craic’s mission is to showcase the best of New Irish Cinema to the New York area. Honorary board members include Liam Neeson, Ed Burns, and other notable actors. On Friday, March 13, see the U.S. premiere of CUMAR – A Galway Rhapsody and on Saturday, the festival’s final day, catch the US premiere of Heyday, an award-winning documentary about singer Mic Christopher, along with several other Irish films.
Staying in New York City – About The Lombardy Hotel
The Lombardy Hotel is just as iconic to Midtown Manhattan as many of the other historic and cultural attractions in the area. Not only are our rooms comfortable and tasteful, we provide amenities such as a full salon, coffee shop, and exercise room. We also host the American Cut Midtown steakhouse, perfect for a business lunch or dinner on a special occasion. We look forward to hosting you.
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