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Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It originated as a Roman Catholic holiday but is now observed by Protestant churches also. It became an official feast day in the early 17th century. Over time, Saint Patrick's Day has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Irish culture.
Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Montserrat, among others.
Little is known of Patrick's early life, though it is known that he was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father and grandfather were deacons in the Church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. It is believed he was held somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, possibly Mayo, but the exact location is unknown. According to his Confession, he was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest.
In 432, he again said that he was called back to Ireland, though as a bishop, to Christianise the Irish from their native polytheism. Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on 17 March 461, and according to tradition, was buried at Downpatrick. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish Church.
Wearing of the green
Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, in hopes of making a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name.
Saint Patrick's feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times he become more and more widely known as the patron of Ireland. Saint Patrick's feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church due to the influence of Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early 1600s. Saint Patrick's Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. The church calendar avoids the observance of saints' feasts during certain solemnities, moving the saint's day to a time outside those periods. Saint Patrick's Day is occasionally affected by this requirement, when 17 March falls during Holy Week. This happened in 1940, when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on 3 April in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, where it was officially observed on 14 March (15 March being used for St. Joseph, which had to be moved from March 19), although the secular celebration still took place on 17 March. Saint Patrick's Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160. (In other countries, St. Patrick's feast day is also March 17, but liturgical celebration is omitted when impeded by Sunday or by Holy Week.)
In 1903, Saint Patrick's Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. This was thanks to the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903, an act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by Irish MP James O'Mara. O'Mara later introduced the law that required that pubs and bars be closed on 17 March after drinking got out of hand, a provision that was repealed in the 1970s. The first Saint Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald. Although secular celebrations now exist, the holiday remains a religious observance in Ireland, for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland.
In the mid-1990s the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick's Day to showcase Ireland and its culture. The government set up a group called St. Patrick's Festival, with the aim to:
— Offer a national festival that ranks amongst all of the greatest celebrations in the world and promote excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity, grassroots involvement, and marketing activity.
— Provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent, (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations.
— Project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal, as we approach the new millennium.
The first Saint Patrick's Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall 2009's five day festival saw close to 1 million visitors, who took part in festivities that included concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks.
The topic of the 2004 St. Patrick's Symposium was "Talking Irish," during which the nature of Irish identity, economic success, and the future were discussed. Since 1996, there has been a greater emphasis on celebrating and projecting a fluid and inclusive notion of "Irishness" rather than an identity based around traditional religious or ethnic allegiance. The week around Saint Patrick's Day usually involves Irish language speakers using more Irish during seachtain na Gaeilge ("Irish Week").
As well as Dublin, many other cities, towns, and villages in Ireland hold their own parades and festivals, including Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford.
The biggest celebrations outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, County Down, where Saint Patrick is rumoured to be buried. In 2004, according to Down District Council, the week-long St. Patrick's Festival had more than 2,000 participants and 82 floats, bands, and performers and was watched by more than 30,000 people.
The shortest St Patrick's Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork. The parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village's two pubs.
Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick's Day. In The Word magazine's March 2007 issue, Fr. Vincent Twomey wrote, "It is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival." He questioned the need for "mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and concluded that "it is time to bring the piety and the fun together."
The Ulster Schools Cup final, Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup final and Munster Schools Rugby Senior Cup finals all take place annually on St. Patrick's Day.
The All-Ireland Club Football and All-Ireland Club Hurling championships finals are held annually in Croke Park on St Patrick's Day.
The Interprovincial Championship in both Gaelic Football and Hurling were held in Croke Park from up to and including 1986 and in 1991.
The St. Patrick's Day Test is an international rugby league tournament that is played between the USA and Ireland. The competition was first started in 1995 with Ireland winning the first two tests with the USA winning the last 4 in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004. The game is usually held on or around March 17 to coincide with St. Patrick's Day
In Argentina, and especially in Buenos Aires, all-night long parties are celebrated in designated streets, since the weather is comfortably warm in March. People dance and drink only beer throughout the night, until seven or eight in the morning, and although the tradition of mocking those who do not wear green does not exist, many people wear something green. In Buenos Aires, the party is held in the downtown street of Reconquista, where there are several Irish pubs; in 2006, there were 50,000 people in this street and the pubs nearby. Neither the Catholic Church nor the Irish community, the fifth largest in the world outside Ireland, take part in the organization of the parties.
One of the longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parades in North America occurs each year in Montreal, the flag of which has a shamrock in one of its corners. The parades have been held in continuity since 1824.
In Quebec City, there was a parade from 1837 to 1926. The Quebec St-Patrick Parade returned in 2010, after an absence of more than 84 years. For the occasion, a portion of the NYPD Pipes and Drums were present as special guests.
The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team was known as the Toronto St. Patricks from 1919 to 1927, and wore green jerseys. In 1999, when the Maple Leafs played on Hockey Night in Canada (national broadcast of the NHL) on Saint Patrick's Day, they wore the green St. Patrick's day-themed retro uniforms. There is a large parade in the city's downtown core that attracts over 100,000 spectators.
Some groups, notably Guinness, have lobbied to make Saint Patrick's Day a national holiday in Canada. Currently, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is the only jurisdiction in Canada where Saint Patrick's Day is a provincial holiday.
In March 2009, the Calgary Tower had changed its top exterior lights to new green-coloured CFL bulbs just in time for Saint Patrick's Day. The lights were in fact part of the environmental non-profit organisation, Project Porchlight, and were Green to represent environmental concerns. Approximately 210 lights were changed in time for Saint Patrick's Day and almost resemble a Leprechaun's hat during the evening light. After a week, regular white CFLs took their place, saving the Calgary Tower around $12,000 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 104 metric tonnes in the process.
In Great Britain
In Great Britain, the Queen Mother used to present bowls of shamrock flown over from Ireland to members of the Irish Guards, a regiment in the British Army consisting primarily of soldiers from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Guards still wear shamrock on this day, flown in from Ireland.
Horse racing at the Cheltenham Festival attracts large numbers of Irish people, both residents of Britain and many who travel from Ireland, and usually coincides with Saint Patrick's Day.
Birmingham holds the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in Britain with a massive city centre parade over a two mile (3 km) route through the city centre. The organisers describe it as the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York.
London, since 2002, has had an annual Saint Patrick's Day parade which takes place on weekends around the 17th, usually in Trafalgar Square. In 2008 the water in the Trafalgar Square fountains was dyed green.
Liverpool, a major port leading to the Irish Sea, has the highest proportion of residents of Irish ancestry of any English city. This has led to a long-standing celebration on St Patrick's Day in terms of music, cultural events and the parade.
Manchester hosts a two-week Irish festival in the weeks prior to St Patrick's Day. The festival includes an Irish Market based at the city's town hall which flies the Irish tricolour opposite the Union Flag, a large parade as well as a large number of cultural and learning events throughout the two-week period. .
The Scottish town of Coatbridge, where the majority of the town's population are of Irish descent, also has a St. Patrick's Day Festival which includes celebrations and parades in the town centre.
Glasgow began an annual Saint Patrick's Day parade and festival in 2007.
The tiny island of Montserrat, known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean" because of its founding by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis, is the only place in the world apart from Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador where St Patrick's Day is a public holiday. The holiday commemorates a failed slave uprising that occurred on 17 March 1768.
In South Korea
Seoul (Capital city of South Korea) has celebrated Saint Patrick's Day since 2001 with Irish Association of Korea. The place of parade and festival has been moved from Itaewon and Daehangno to Cheonggyecheon.
In New Zealand
Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in New Zealand - green items of clothing are traditionally worn and the streets are often filled with revellers drinking and making merry from early afternoon until late at night.
The Irish made a large impact in New Zealand's social, political and education systems, owing to the large numbers that emigrated there during the 19th century and Saint Patrick's Day is seen as a day to celebrate individual links to Ireland and Irish heritage.
Saint Patrick's Parades are now held in 9 locations across Japan. The first parade, in Tokyo, was organised by The Irish Network Japan (INJ) in 1992. Nowadays Parades and other events related to Saint Patrick's Day spread across almost the entire month of March.
In the United States
Irish Society of Boston organised what was not only the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies but the first recorded Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the world on 18 March 1737.[unreliable source?] (The first parade in Ireland did not occur until 1931 in Dublin.) This parade in Boston involved Irish immigrant workers marching to make a political statement about how they were not happy with their low social status and their inability to obtain jobs in America. New York's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1766, the parades were held as political and social statements because the Irish immigrants were being treated unfairly. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence." This event became known as The St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780.[unreliable source?]
Irish patriotism in New York City continued to soar and the parade in New York City continued to grow. Irish aid societies were created like Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Hibernian Society and they marched in the parades too. Finally when many of these aid societies joined forces in 1848 the parade became not only the largest parade in the United States but one of the largest in the world.
In every year since 1991, March has been proclaimed Irish-American Heritage Month by the US Congress or President due to the date of St. Patrick's Day. Today, Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike. It is one of the leading days for consumption of alcohol in the United States, and is typically one of the busiest days of the year for bars and restaurants. Many people, regardless of ethnic background, wear green clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched affectionately.
Seattle and other cities paint the traffic stripe of their parade routes green. Chicago dyes its river green and has done so since 1962 when sewer workers used green dye to check for sewer discharges and had the idea to turn the river green for Saint Patrick's Day. Originally 100 pounds of vegetable dye was used to turn the river green for a whole week but now only forty pounds of dye is used and the colour only lasts for several hours. Indianapolis also dyes its main canal green. Savannah dyes its downtown city fountains green. Missouri University of Science and Technology - St Pat's Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks kelly green with mops before the annual parade. In Jamestown, New York, the Chadakoin River (a small tributary that connects Conewango Creek with its source at Chautauqua Lake) is dyed green each year.
Columbia, SC dyes its fountain green in the area known as Five Points (a popular collegiate location near the University of South Carolina). A two day celebration is held over St Patrick's Day weekend. In Boston, Evacuation Day is celebrated as a public holiday for Suffolk County. While officially commemorating the British departure from Boston, it was made an official holiday after Saint Patrick's Day parades had been occurring in Boston for several decades, and is often believed to have been popularised because of its falling on the same day as Saint Patrick's Day.
In the Northeastern United States, peas are traditionally planted on Saint Patrick's Day.
Many parades are held to celebrate the holiday. The longest-running public parades are:
New York City, since 1762
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 1771
Morristown, New Jersey, since 1780
Boston, Massachusetts, since 1804
New Orleans, Louisiana, since 1809
Buffalo, New York, since 1811
Savannah, Georgia, since 1824
Carbondale, Pennsylvania, since 1833
New Haven, Connecticut, since 1842
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, since 1843
Chicago, Illinois, since 1843
Saint Paul, Minnesota, since 1851
San Francisco, California, since 1852
Scranton, Pennsylvania, since 1862
Cleveland, Ohio, since 1867
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, since 1869
Kansas City, Missouri, since 1873
Butte, Montana, since 1882
Rolla, Missouri, since 1909
U.S. cities with major celebrations
Buffalo, New York
The city of Buffalo has two Saint Patrick's Day parades. The first is the "Old Neighborhood Parade," which is in its 18th year in 2011 and takes place in the city's historic Old First Ward in South Buffalo on the Saturday before Saint Patrick's Day. The older, larger "Buffalo St. Patrick's Day Parade" (in its 69th consecutive year in 2011) also takes place, usually on the Sunday before Saint Patrick's Day. That parade runs from Niagara Square along Delaware Avenue to North Street. The latter parade is the 3rd largest parade in New York State behind the New York City Parade and the Pearl River Parade.
Butte's mixed heritage and mining history brought in a large population of Irish immigrants. The yearly event brings in visitors from all over the world and doubles the city's population for the day. Butte has a long history of running a parade and concerts in the uptown area. There currently is not an open container law in Butte Montana and the event often becomes rowdy.
Each year since 1981 a parade and after party has been held on Lower Greenville Avenue. The parade is held the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day with thousands of spectators and partiers lining the streets. It is the biggest St. Patrick's Day parade and festival in the Southwest. There is also a run before the parade on Greenville.
Hoboken, New Jersey
The New Jersey town of Hoboken has held an annual St. Patrick's Day parade since 1986. The parade takes place at 1 PM and marches down Washington Street from 14th Street to 1st Street.
Over the years, there has been much controversy surrounding the public intoxication during this event. The city has issued a zero tolerance policy, and has been inacting $2,000 minimum fines for any alcohol related offence.
This Western Mass factory town was the site of massive Irish immigration in the 19th Century, and hosts a Parade its organisers claim is the second largest in the United States. It is scheduled on the Sunday following Saint Patrick's Day each year. Attendance exceeds 300,000, with over 25,000 marchers, through a 2.3-mile route in this city of 40,000. A 10K road Race and many events create a remarkable festival weekend. Each year an Irish-American who has distinguished himself or herself in their chosen profession is awarded the John F. Kennedy National Award. JFK was a National Award Winner in the 1958 Holyoke Parade. Other winners include author Tom Clancy, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, and actor Pat O'Brien 
Hot Springs, Arkansas
The Hot Springs, Arkansas parade is among world's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade, held annually on historic Bridge Street, designated "The Shortest Street in the World" in the 1940s by Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Southern Nevada, (formerly Las Vegas) Sons of Erin have put on a parade since 1966. It was formerly held on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, later moved to 4th street. Since 2005, the parade has been held in downtown Henderson. It is one of the biggest parades in the state of Nevada. It also consists of a three day festival, carnival and classic car show in Old Town Henderson.
Historically the largest entry port for Irish immigrants in the U.S. South, New Orleans has maintained a large population of Irish heritage, and Saint Patrick's Day traditions going back to the 19th century, including multiple block parties and parades.
The New Orleans parades are mostly based around neighbourhood and community organisations. Major parades include the Irish Channel parade, the Downtown Irish Parade starting in the Bywater neighborhood, multiple parades in the French Quarter, and a combined Irish-Italian Parade celebrating both Saint Patrick's Day and Saint Joseph's Day. As with many parades in New Orleans, the influence of New Orleans Mardi Gras is apparent, with some of the floats being reused from local Carnival parades, and beads and trinkets being thrown to those along the parade route. New Orleans Saint Patrick's Day parades are also famous for throwing onions, carrots, cabbages, potatoes, and other ingredients for making an Irish stew.
Various suburbs and surrounding communities also hold celebrations, including parades in Metairie, Slidell, and an Irish Italian Isleño Parade in Chalmette.
New York City
The New York parade has not only become the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the world but it is also the oldest civilian parade in the world. In a typical year, 150,000 marchers participate in it, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs, and 2 million spectators line the streets. The parade marches up the 1.5 mile route along 5th Avenue in Manhattan, is a five hour procession, and is always led by the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. The Commissioner of the parade always asks the Commanding Officer if the 69th is ready, to which the response is, "The 69th is always ready." New York politicians - or those running for office - are always found prominently marching in the parade. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once proclaimed himself "Ed O'Koch" for the day, and he continued to don an Irish sweater and march every year up until 2003, even though he was no longer in office.
The parade has drawn controversy for many years for its exclusion of openly gay organisations. In 1989 Dorothy Hayden Cudahy became the first female Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day Parade; in 1984 she had become the first woman, as well as the first American-born person, to be elected president of the County Kilkenny Association
The New York parade is moved to the previous Saturday (16 March) in years where 17 March is a Sunday. The event also has been moved on the rare occasions when, due to Easter falling on a very early date, 17 March would land in Holy Week. This same scenario arose again in 2008, when Easter fell on March 23, but the festivities went ahead on their normal date and received record viewers. In many other American cities (such as San Francisco), the parade is always held on the Sunday before 17 March, regardless of the liturgical calendar.
Pearl River, New York
Pearl River attracts a crowd of 100,000 people, making it the second largest parade in New York state behind the New York City Parade. The parade started in 1963.
Rolla is home to the Missouri University of Science & Technology (formerly known as University of Missouri-Rolla, and Missouri School of Mines), an engineering college. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of engineers, the school and town's celebrations start ten days before Saint Patrick's Day, with a downtown parade held the Saturday before Saint Patrick's. A royal court is crowned, and the streets in the city's downtown area are painted solid green. Each year's celebrations are said to be "The Best Ever." In 2008, Rolla celebrated its "100th Annual Best Ever St. Patrick's Day 2008" celebration.
In previous years, a pit of green liquid was made by students as part of the festivities, and named 'Alice' -- stepping into Alice was a rite of bravery. In recent years the university faculty has banned the practice out of health concerns.
The parade organisers have claimed an expected attendance of around 400,000. In 2006, the Tánaiste was featured in the parade. The parade travels through Savannah's Historic District. One tradition that has developed has been the official "dyeing of the fountains" which happens several days before the parade.
Some confusion exists about the year of the first St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah. There is some evidence that a private parade was held by "an unidentified group" referred to as "Fencibles" on March 17, 1818. However, it's generally accepted that the first publicly-held St. Patrick's Day procession was in 1824, organised by the Hibernian Society.
San Francisco, California
There has been a St. Patrick's Day celebration in San Francisco since 1852. San Francisco has always had a large Irish American population and for many decades Irish Americans were the largest ethnic group in San Francisco. However, as of the early 21st century, the largest ethnic group in San Francisco is Chinese Americans and most of the Irish Americans have moved to the suburban parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Each year, however, Irish from all over the San Francisco Bay Area come into San Francisco to march in or to see the Saint Patrick's Day parade march down Market Street, held the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day. Numerous people from all ethnic groups can be seen wearing green in San Francisco on St. Patrick's Day.
Due to the rich history of Scranton participation in Saint Patrick's Day festivities it is one of the oldest and most populated parades in the United States. It has been going on annually since 1862 by the St. Patrick's Day Parade Association of Lackawanna County and the parade has got attention nationally as being one of the better Saint Patrick's Day parades. The parade route begins on Wyoming Ave. and loops up to Penn Ave. and then Lackawanna Ave. before going back down over Jefferson Ave. to get to Washington Ave. Scranton hosts the third largest Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the United States. In 2008, up to 150,000 people attended the parade.
Seattle Washington's Saint Patrick's Day Parade, recognised by CNN in 2009 as one of the "Five places to get your green on" in America, travels along a 1-mile route through the Emerald City's downtown financial and retail core the Saturday before Saint Patrick's Day. Seattle's Saint Patrick's Day Celebration is the largest and oldest in the Northwestern United States. In 2009, some 20,000 spectators and groups from throughout the Northwest turned out for the city's Irish shenanigans. Along with the annual "Laying 'O the Green" where Irish revellers mark the path of the next morning's procession with a mile-long green stripe, the Seattle parade marks the high-point of Seattle's Irish Week festivities. The week-long civic celebration organised by the city's Irish Heritage Club  includes the annual Society of the Friends of St. Patrick Dinner where a century-old Irish Shillelagh has been passed to the group's new president for 70 years, an Irish Soda Bread Baking Contest, a Mass for Peace that brings together Catholics and others in a Protestant church, and the annual Irish Week Festival, which takes place around Saint Patrick's Day is enormous, including step dancing, food, historical and modern exhibitions, and Irish lessons. Many celebrities of Irish descent visit Seattle during its Saint Patrick's Day Celebration. In 2010 The Right Honourable Desmond Guinness, a direct descendant of Guinness Brewery founder Arthur Guinness, will serve as the parade's grand marshal. In 2009, The Tonight Show's Conan O'Brien made a guest appearance at the annual Mayor's Proclamation Luncheon at local Irish haunt F.X. McCrory's. And in 2008, European Union Ambassador to the U.S. and former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton served as the parade's grand marshal and marched alongside Tom Costello, the mayor of Galway, Seattle's Irish sister city. There is also another Saint Patrick's Day Parade, that also takes place in Washington's eastern side of the state in Spokane.
Syracuse, New York
In the city of Syracuse, NY, Saint Patrick's celebrations are traditionally begun with the delivery of green beer to Coleman's Irish Pub on the last Sunday of February. Coleman's is located in the Tipperary Hill section of the city. Tipperary Hill is home to the World famous "Green-on-Top" Traffic Light and is historically the Irish section in Syracuse. Saint Patrick's Day is rung in at midnight with the painting of a Shamrock under the Green-Over-Red traffic light. Syracuse boasts the largest Saint Patrick's Day celebration per-capita in the United States with their annual Syracuse Saint Patrick's Parade, founded by Nancy Duffy, an honoured journalist in the Central New York area and an active community leader, and Daniel F. Casey, a local Irishman and businessman. "The parade remains a major annual event, typically drawing an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 visitors to downtown Syracuse, as well as 5,000 to 6,000 marchers." 
The Tallahassee Irish Society has been hosting an annual St. Patrick's Day event in Tallahassee since 1999. In 2010, along with the City of Tallahassee, the first annual St. Patrick's Day parade and Downtown Get Down is being hosted along Adams Street.
Although Major League Baseball is still in its preseason spring training phase when Saint Patrick's Day rolls around, some teams celebrate by wearing holiday-themed uniforms. The Cincinnati Reds were the first team to ever wear Saint Patrick's Day hats in 1978. The Boston Red Sox were the second team to start wearing Saint Patrick's Day hats in 1990. Many teams have since started wearing St. Patrick's day themed jerseys, including the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1980s and Boston Red Sox in 2004. Since then it has become a tradition of many sports teams to also wear special uniforms to celebrate the holiday. The Los Angeles Dodgers also have a history with the Irish-American community. With the O'Malley family owning the team and now Frank McCourt, the Dodgers have had team celebrations or worn green jerseys on Saint Patrick's Day. The Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies also wear St. Patrick's Day caps and jerseys. Other teams celebrate by wearing kelly green hats. These teams include: the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Washington Nationals have fan green hat day on September 17 to represent 6 months to Saint Patrick's Day.
Nearly all MLB teams now produce Saint Patrick's Day merchandise, including Kelly green hats, jerseys, and t-shirts.
Between 15 and 17 March 2009, a number of NBA teams wore green jerseys in recognition of Saint Patrick's Day including the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Dallas Mavericks. The Boston Celtics, whose road jersey is green, wore a specially designed green and gold jersey.
While no NHL teams currently don green jerseys during Saint Patrick's Day games (although the New Jersey Devils wore their classic red, white, and green jerseys on their Saint Patrick's Day 2010 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.), the league has offered a line of holiday-themed gear to its fans in recent years.
Traditionally the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship are held on Saint Patrick's Day in Croke Park, Dublin. The Interprovincial Championship was previously held on March 17 but this was switched to games being played in Autumn.
The Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup, Munster Schools Rugby Senior Cup and Ulster Schools Senior Cup are held on Saint Patrick's Day. The Connacht Schools Rugby Senior Cup is held on the weekend before Saint Patrick's Day.