St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

By Irish America Staff
April / May 2005

Chicagoeans will celebrate by dying the river green. In Boston, it’s a city holiday (officially it’s Evacuation Day). In New York City, Grand Marshal Denis Kelleher from County Kerry will lead the largest parade in the U.S. up Fifth Avenue, while Enterprise, Alabama, will host the smallest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world. On March 17, for the third year in a row, Patrick Donaghue will walk the block and a half from the Coffee County Courthouse to the Boll Weevil Monument and back, while holding the Irish flag over his head, and singing Irish songs.

Further north, the once important gold rush town, Nome, Alaska, celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with the Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic. On the third Saturday of March, a selection of the town’s 4,021 residents will hit the six-hole course on the frozen Bering Sea with bright orange golf balls. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which starts in Anchorage March 5, and ends in Nome 1,150 miles later, also has an Irish touch to its celebrations.

In Dublin, for the first time in its 75-year history, the parade will change direction. The traditional route from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to Parnell Square has been reversed to accommodate photographers who in previous years had difficulty getting good photos because they were facing the sun. Meanwhile, in Belfast, Ireland’s second largest city, the City Council continues to deny funding for St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and it is only through the hard work of the community that celebrations take place. ♦

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