Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  Named for the patron saint of Ireland, March 17th is the day St. Patrick is believed to have died around 490 A.D.  There are many legends about him including that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Trinity.  Ireland came to celebrate his day with religious services and feasts.  American cities with large numbers of Irish immigrants staged the most extensive celebrations and elaborate parades.  Boston held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737, followed by New York City in 1762.  Many cities across the U.S. joined and added traditions of their own including Chicago, which has been dying its river green since 1962 to mark the holiday. 

St. Patrick’s Day is all about the Irish, but modern day celebrations started in the U.S.  WalletHub says this year over five-billion-dollars will be spent on St. Patrick’s Day, with over half of Americans planning to take part in the festivities.  And those people will be consuming a lot of beer, specifically Guinness.  In fact, over 13 million pints of the Irish stout will be downed on Thursday.  WalletHub even calculated the value of the mythical leprechaun’s pot of gold.  A pot of one thousand gold coins would amount to one-point-92-million-dollars. 

If you’re wondering where to celebrate Irish heritage, these cities won’t disappoint.  Tripping-dot-com has named the seven best cities to get your green on.  Number one on the list is Chicago, where the Chicago River is dyed green.  It’s also home to one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country.  Boston comes in at number-two with Philadelphia at number-three.  Dublin, Ohio, comes in at number-four, followed by New York City, New Orleans and San Diego. 

Mike Pomp is a broadcast veteran of New Hampshire with over for over five decades covering news and politics. He was recently awarded the 2016 New Hampshire Air Personality of the Year (his second award) and the 2009 New Hampshire Broadcaster of the Year by the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.