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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day in the Irish Capital

St. Patrick’s Day in the Irish Capital

I knew I lived in St. Paul for a good reason.

A brief look at Minnesota’s history brings a few great names, clearly of Irish decent, to the forefront—like Archbishop John Ireland and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The first helped develop the city and bring over Irish families, and the second, well, he’s known for a few famous words penned right in his hometown. 

St Paul Parade Button

St. Patrick's Association

So it makes sense that despite Minneapolis’ often flashier ways, on March 17th St. Paul is king—and home to the grandest gathering and celebration of St. Patrick’s Day the Twin Cities have to offer.

The biggest draw is the Saint Patrick’s Association’s parade that starts at noon and moves from downtown St. Paul to Rice Park—though it’s not like a lot of parades with many marching bands, acrobatics, and fanfare. Sure, there’s a political team maybe, and annual buttons instead of stickers, but motorized vehicles are rare. It's really about the people. Always has been, since 1967.

Irish or not, everyone is for a day, and a slew of volunteers, Irish families, and a royal court (think Mr. Pat, Miss Shamrock, and the Blarney Brothers) walk the streets in throngs, right alongside many of the state’s revelers who just want to be where the other Irish are—in St. Paul.

There's a parade in Minneapolis, too—with almost as much history (first started in 1969). Run by the Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Association, this parade begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs along Nicollet Mall, so you could actually fit it in right after St. Paul. Our own Twin Cities Taste blogger Jason DeRusha is the Celebrity Grand Marshal! Then Seven Steakhouse nearby is hosting the annual Blarney Blast Party afterward, alongside a slew of other participating pubs.

More options? Dance the night away at Celtic Junction, visit O’Gara’s for live music and the 18th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or buy your own Guinness and participate in “The Biggest St. Patrick’s Day Party" Guinness World Records attempt.

You have time to decide. St. Patty’s day is now three days, seven hours, 24 minutes and five, four, three… Ok, you get my point. If you don’t have plans, make some! Or just head to St. Paul on Saturday and you’re sure to be swept up in a big green friendly wave.

Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 in Permalink

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