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Celebrating Irish Heritage + St. Patrick’s Day in the Emerald State

Holidays

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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

America’s most Irish state celebrates St. Paddy’s with cultural festivities, heritage sites, and good ol’ fashioned fun.

We honor Ireland’s Saint Patrick on March 17th and celebrate our Irish Heritage all month long. Massachusetts is proud to be the most Irish state in America, with over 20% of residents claiming Irish ancestry, according to the US Census. The Irish community is one of dozens of ethnic communities from around the world that call the Bay State their home. For more information about the emerald isle, connect with Ireland’s Consulate General in Boston.

Now, who’s ready to revel in the festivities?

Parades

Sunday, March 18
City of Abington parade begins at 1 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Square in Abington Center
City of Boston parade begins at 1 p.m. at West Broadway near the MBTA stop
City of Holyoke parade begins at noon at the Kmart Plaza on Route 5
Town of Scituate parade begins at 1 p.m. at Gate Middle School on First Parish Road

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Cultural Events

Old Sturbridge Village presents Celtic Weekend on March 17-18, with Irish music, poetry and storytelling, plus a dinner buffet at the Oliver Wright Tavern on March 17 with music by Full Gael.

The Irish Cultural Centre in Canton celebrates St. Patrick’s Day weekend, March 17-18, with continuous music and dance, family activities and Irish food.

The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, a brand new facility in Springfield, celebrates St. Patrick’s Day weekend with Irish bands and Irish cuisine.

Lawrence Irish Heritage Month presents various lectures, concerts, exhibits and films at Lawrence Heritage State Park and the Lawrence Public Library throughout March.

Irish Network Boston holds its St. Patrick’s Day party on March 16 inside the State Street Pavilion at Fenway Park.

The Children’s Museum in Easton celebrates St. Patrick’s Day on March 16, where they help children search for leprechauns and the pot of gold!

A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn, source: WGBH

Music and Dance

St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn concert, with WGBH radio host Brian O’Donovan, takes place at Showcase Live in Foxboro on March 14; The Cabot in Beverly on March 15; Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford on March 16; and Saunders Theatre in Cambridge on March 17.

Lynn Auditorium presents the Chieftains, Ireland’s most renowned traditional ensemble, at 7 p.m. on March 17

The Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College presents the Young Irelanders, champion musicians, singers and dancers, at 3 p.m. on March 18.

The Cabot in Beverly presents Celtic Nights – Oceans of Hope at 8 p.m. on March14, telling the story of Ireland through music, dance and storytelling.

Lectures, Theater and Film

Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston presents a conversation with author Maurice Fitzpatrick on his book, John Hume in America, taking place at 6 p.m. on March 12.

The Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham present Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt’s play, The Irish and How They Got that Way with multiple shows between March 14-25.

The Irish Film Festival takes place at Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, on March 22-25, bringing the latest documentaries, shorts and features direct from Ireland.

Irish Heritage Trail in Boston, source: Irish Heritage Trail

History and Heritage

The National Park Service hosts the annual Evacuation Day ceremony at Dorchester Heights in South Boston commemorates March 17, 1776 when American troops, led by General John Sullivan, forced the British to evacuate Boston.  The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and includes a flag-raising and speeches.

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a guided tour of Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail on March 17-18 starting at the Visitor Information Center on Boston Common.

Spend a day at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum to learn about the nation’s first Irish Catholic president.

The Forbes House Museum in Milton has a new exhibit about Captain Robert Bennet Forbes’ humanitarian aid mission to Ireland during the height of the Irish Famine of the 1840s.

Looking for additional Irish festivities? Check out our St. Patrick’s Day page! 

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