Boston is one of the most Irish cities in the United States. Unfortunately, it was largely thanks to Ireland’s Potato Famine, but the cultural mark the large immigration of Irish individuals and families in the 19th century left on Boston is huge. When St. Patrick’s Day comes around, the people of Boston and the surrounding area celebrate the culture of one of its biggest demographics by throwing some of the best parties. These are for everyone, not just those of Irish descent, so anyone can join in the festivities.
(Carl Stevens/WBZ)

(Carl Stevens/WBZ)

Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade
South Boston, MA 02127
(781) 436-3377

Date: March 15, 2015

The biggest celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the Boston area is Southie’s parade. It takes place in the most Irish neighborhood in Massachusetts where there is an Irish pub on every corner, so to speak. Families can enjoy the typical parade fare, such as floats, balloons and convenience food. Adults can line the streets or enjoy the year’s lineup of performers from a cozy barstool. There are going to be 600,000 to 1 million people watching, so be sure to show up early for the best views.

Related: St. Patrick’s Day Parade

(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Annual Dropkick Murphys Concert
House Of Blues, Boston
15 Lansdowne St.
Boston, MA 02215
(888) 693-2583

Date: March 12-15, 2015

The heart of modern Irish punk music in Boston is the Dropkick Murphys. This subtly Celtic and thoroughly Boston band celebrates its roots every year by playing a show for its hometown. Fans flock to the city in hopes of hearing popular songs like “Shipping Up to Boston” and “The Spicy McHaggis Jig.” Some of the best Irish bars in town are within walking distance of the House of Blues, so pre-game and after-party festivities are entirely possible.

(Image Credit: South Boston Boys And Girls Club)

(Image Credit: South Boston Boys And Girls Club)

St. Patrick’s Day 5K
South Boston Boys And Girls Club
230 W. 6th St.
South Boston, MA 02127
(617) 516-5441

Date: March 15, 2015

For runners, the only way to celebrate any holiday is with a race. The start and finish lines are at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club, which hosts the race. The first 500 runners or walkers to sign up for the race will receive a long-sleeve t-shirt designed by the Dropkick Murphys. There will also be some shirts available on race day, which supporters can wear to the Southie parade after the 5K. Avid runners should note that this is not a certified race, but rather a neighborhood tradition, so it is possible that the route will be a touch shy of five kilometers.

(Image Credit: Eddie Bailey's Garage)

(Image Credit: Eddie Bailey’s Garage)

Abington St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Orange St. and Washington St.
Abington, MA 02351
(781) 878-1570

Date: March 22, 2015

The town of Abington, just a short drive south of Boston, has one of the best small town St. Patty’s Day celebrations in the area. Local sports teams, military groups and various organizations join together for a day of simple fun featuring a ton of green. Expect to see antique cars, muscle cars, comedians, trailers and much more move down the town’s main roads.

Related: Gay Veterans Group Allowed To March In South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade

(Image Credit: Somerville Theater)

(Image Credit: Somerville Theater)

Boston Irish Film Festival
Somerville Theatre
55 Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 625-5700

Date: March 19-22, 2015

Those who enjoy a more subdued celebration of Irish heritage will appreciate the Irish Film Festival. For 15 years, this festival has brought little-known Irish films rarely screened in the U.S. to local theaters. The lineup will be updated as the festival draws closer, but viewers can expect a few treats, if the past years are any indication of quality. Bus lines run directly in front of the theater, so transportation from Boston is easy.

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at