Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Downtown Boston a Different Way

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Posted March 12, 2014 by Heather Kapplow in Downtown Boston
A lucky four-leaf clover

Traditionally, Bostonians celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day by going to the parade in South Boston and drinking copious amounts of whiskey and Guinness in Irish pubs—which Boston has more of than any other city in the United States.

However, if you boycott the parade (like our mayor) or don’t drink (also like our mayor) there are plenty of St. Patrick’s Day activities throughout Boston that will make you feel like you’ve found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Celebrate with Your Ears

In addition to cornering the market on stout ales and fine whiskeys, the Irish boast some mighty fine poets, novelists, and musicians. Boston hosts a large handful of these folks over Saint Paddy’s Day weekend, so here are two top picks:

  • If you’d like a sampling of traditional Celtic music, take in Boston’s annual celebration at A Celtic Sojourn. Hosted by WGBH’s Brian Donovan, this show will be performed at several locations in the Boston area.
  • Should you prefer slam dancing to clogging, there is nothing that combines “Boston” and “Irish” with more enthusiasm than the Dropkick Murphys. They’re playing not one, but six hometown shows for St. Paddy’s Day, which is most definitely the holiday that they celebrate with the most gusto.

Give Something Back

Want to celebrate the bringing of Christianity to Ireland by doing unto others as you would have them do unto you? Don your greenest sweatpants and run or walk the 74th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day 5K, which benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. Don’t have green sweatpants (or the energy) for a 5K? You can still help the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston by attending their St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel on March 7. They promise “corned beef, Irish music, and lots of laughs.” This sounds like way more fun than chasing snakes off of an island!

Dublin Coddle and Irish Soda Bread

Dublin Coddle and Irish Soda Bread. Photo Credit: Diadoco

The Boston Young Leaders of the American Ireland Fund, an organization that supports peace and reconciliation; arts and culture; and educational and community development activities in Ireland, is hosting a gala fundraising event celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. There will be live music, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, raffles, and leprechauns (the appearance of actual leprechauns is still TBD, but you never know).

Take it Easy

Another option is to take a leisurely walk along the Boston Irish Heritage Trail. There’s a self-guided tour of the trail that you can take anytime, or go on a guided tour with the Boston Irish Tourism Association on March 15, 16, or 17. These are held during the mid-afternoon, so you (probably) won’t be mobbed by drunken Saint Patrick’s Day carousers.

Later, head home, slip on some green slippers, and cook up a Dublin Coddle while listening to Boston’s “Irish Hit Parade” on WROL (950 AM). Learn a few limericks over dinner if you like, then settle in for an Irish movie night culled from this fantastic list of the Top 10 Irish movies of all time, curated by Irish Central. These flicks are guaranteed to leave your eyes smiling after a day celebrating Irish culture!

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