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Irish Tradition Marches On

America's Largest St. Paddy's Day Parades


The parades are back!

After two years of canceled celebrations, there are once again plenty of St. Patrick’s Day parades taking place around the country. Here are the three largest:

#3. Savannah

You may be surprised to see this southern municipality as one of the top three, but the Irish actually have a long history in Savannah, Georgia.

That legacy is never better showcased than when the city hosts the South's biggest parade. The tradition first began in 1824, and was a means of bringing together the Irish Catholic immigrants with the local Protestant population.

The modern Savannah parade features more than 15,000 participants, including 350 marching units, and draws a crowd of around 300,000 spectators.

#2. Chicago

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago took place in 1843, and it was a modest affair by today’s standards.

For one thing, the parade marchers were all men, and it remained that way until 1892.

Between 1902 and 1956, no official St. Paddy’s Day parades were held in Chicago because of the political situation in Ireland.

These days, the Windy City’s celebration includes the annual dyeing of the Chicago River and a three-hour parade for about 400,000 revelers, according to Fodor’s.

#1. New York City

The Big Apple hosts the very largest St. Paddy’s Day parade — not just in America, but in the world. (Yes, even bigger than the one in Dublin.)

It's also one of the oldest. New York's very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in 1762. The city currently boasts a five-hour parade with about 200,000 participants, according to

Nearly three million spectators line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the procession each year. Here's a video clip from the 2019 festivities:

In Our Neighborhood

But when it comes to measuring parade size by number of participants per population, Scranton is not easily outdone. The city ranks second in the country for towns of 50,000 or more. (Savannah ranks first.)

The Scranton St. Patrick's Day parade boasts more than 12,000 participants and typically draws at least 150,000 spectators.


Whether your holiday plans involve a parade or simply raising a glass of Guinness with your best mates, we at ComServe Solutions wish you a...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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