With 11 percent of Americans identifying as having Irish ancestry, according to the U.S. Census 2014, Irish-Americans make up the second largest cultural group in the U.S., after German-Americans. But come March 17, as the saying goes, “Everyone is Irish,” and most towns host St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. New York City, Boston and Chicago boast the largest parades, but some surprising outlier cities hold rank — including Scranton, fictional home of TV comedy The Office. If you are looking for some intriguing city celebrations, here are 13 of the most colorful St. Patrick’s Day parades. But when it comes to the largest, here are the top 10 St. Patrick’s Day Parades in order of attendance. (Via International Business Times)
1. New York City
It’s no surprise that our nation’s largest city holds the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, with over 2 million spectators. The first parade was in 1762.
The Windy City’s celebration is renowned for hijinks, including dyeing the Chicago River green. Over 1 million people attend the parade, first held in 1843.
Famous for having the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade, first held in 1737 (40+ years before we were even a nation), Boston sees almost 1 million attendees at its parade.
4. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah wins the prize for most holiday spirit, with the largest percentage based on ratio of population attending — an estimated 750,000 spectators. The first parade was in 1824.
5. Kansas City, Mo.
Having had a very large Irish immigration influx in the 19th century, Kansas City’s parade has about 200,000 spectators. The first parade was in 1973.
Home of fictional Michael Todd and The Office crew, the city of Scranton boasts the second largest parade if you compare a ratio of attendees to the city’s population. The first was in 1962.
7. San Francisco
Never a city to miss a good party, San Francisco hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in California, with about 105,000 attendees. The first was in 1852.
The parade in Philly is older than our nation itself, with the first occurring in 1771. About 100,000 people attend.
It’s not as big as the New York City parade, but with 2 million Irish-Americans in the state of New York, it’s popular, with about 30,000 spectators attending. The first was in 1982.
10. Hot Springs, Arkansas
With it’s claim to fame being the “Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade” route, Hot Springs sees about 30,000 attendees at it’s celebration. The first was in 2004.
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(Image via Wiki Commons)