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10 Sober Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in New York City

NYC History NYC Story NYCentric Events

10 ways to celebrate that won’t leave ya bushed:

1.  Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16th

A parade for a religious holiday on a Sunday? Can you imagine the cheek of it! In its 252nd year, New York City has the world’s oldest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade; the grand celebration was moved to the Saturday before the holiday in order to avoid offending the devout.

2.  Go to Mass!

Hundreds of churches in New York will celebrate Saint Patrick on the day of his feast, but only two historic cathedrals actually bear his name. Get all done up like a dog’s dinner and attend mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral or (better yet) Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral.

3.  Attend Saint Patrick’s Open Day at the Irish Arts Center

Bring yer fella and bring the babby – The Irish Arts Center’s family event features kids’ classes in art, step dancing, and more. There are also music, film, and other performances for all of ya.

4.  Make a pilgrimage to the Irish Hunger Memorial

Plants and architectural design are joined by at a rock or stone from each of Ireland’s 32 counties. I love bringing visitors to this monument because it is beautiful, poignant, and so few out-of-towners know it exists.

5.  Catch a show at the Irish Rep

Both Ireland and New York have rich dramatic traditions. No tour of either is complete without an evening of theatre. On Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend, the legendary Irish Repertory Theatre (celebrating its 25th anniversary season) will be showing Donnybrook!, a musical based on the classic film, The Quiet Man.

6.  Visit the Moores at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

This amazing historic museum can only be seen via (non-Levy) guided tour. After all, the building itself is the exhibit.  The “Irish Outsiders” tour about the Moore family, who lived in the building, will surely sell out quickly. So book ahead on their website.

7.  Hear some Irish music

It wouldn’t be an Irish celebration without music and dancin’! Pick yer poison: traditional folk music at the Celtic Appalachia concert at Symphony Space, or check out the Saw Doctors at Irving Plaza for some quality Irish rock.

8.  Tour the Poetry, Pints, and Pugilism

The Irish have been the backbone of this city for centuries. How much do ye know about em? Our licensed New York City tour guides get into the history with poetry, pints, and pugilism. Come along!

9.  Bangers & Mash

Shop for Irish goods in Woodlawn. This northernmost neighborhood in the Bronx is the closest thing to a “Little Ireland” NYC still has. Walking Katonah Avenue will bring you by Prime Cuts where you can stock up on the makings of your own corned beef & cabbage dinner, lamb stew, or bangers & mash.  Sean’s Quality Deli provides staples like Barry’s Tea and newspapers from the old country. On McLean Avenue, gift shops like Anna’s Attic and Shamrock Irish Imports will keep you in Waterford crystal and Irish earthenware for the rest of your days.

10.  Participate in the Saint Patrick’s Day Children’s Art Competition

Download an entry form from the Consulate General of Ireland (New York) and have your kids draw, paint, or create a collage based on the life and adventures of Saint Patrick himself! The consulate is working in collaboration with Irish organizations throughout the U.S., most notably the New York Irish Center in Queens.

By Matthew Baker