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St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best St. Patrick’s Day 2023 events in Boston

From Irish pub shenanigans to the parade in Southie, here's how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2023

JQ Louise
Katie McAleer
Edited by
JQ Louise
Written by
Katie McAleer

St. Patrick’s Day is kind of like Boston's turn to shine. With much of our city sharing Irish heritage, we love to flaunt our Eire pride just about any day of the year—as demonstrated by our highly frequented Irish pubs—so naturally, we like to go all out for St. Paddy's. While South Boston's annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is the undisputed highlight in these parts, there's a wealth of other events surrounding March 17, from festivals and races to concerts and cultural tours. Prep for the festivities at one of the best beer bars in Boston and plan ahead for the next day with our guide to the best brunch spots in Boston. Just remember: It's a marathon, not a sprint. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Best St. Patrick’s Day events in Boston

  • Things to do

This annual parade will hit the streets of South Boston once more. Massive crowds, day drinking and Irish-American history will all be on full display. If you don't have a friend who lives on the route and can provide refuge (and beverage) as the floats pass by, you can always watch the spectacle from the hills of Medal of Honor Park. It’s the perfect start to a day of bar-hopping and celebrating our city's rich Irish heritage.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast in South Boston is set for this Sunday. For over 70 years, the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast has served as an opportunity for cultural leaders and the community to come together in celebration of Irish heritage in Boston over some bad jokes, lots of songs and plenty of fun. Read more to learn where you can watch it and what to expect this year. 


Walk the Irish Heritage Trail
Photograph: Courtesy Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

3. Walk the Irish Heritage Trail

For a better understanding of Boston’s Irish roots, take this self-guided, three-mile walk through 20 historically significant sites around town. The tour highlights the contributions of local Irish-Americans both famous (JFK) and infamous (James Curley, Boston’s longtime mayor and the inspiration for The Last Hurrah). If you have time, you can also make a point to visit some or all of the 50 Irish landmarks scattered throughout the state; Boston’s visitor centers offer a handy map.

  • Bars
  • Pubs

In our city, there’s no shortage of Irish pubs just prime for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Whether you’re looking for some shenanigans on the day itself or the weekend after, these spots will be packed and pouring pint after pint after pint. As expected with any real pub experience, these bars will also be filled with traditional live music, providing ample entertainment besides just drinking. Keep in mind that some of these places require patrons to purchase tickets beforehand, so be sure to check and snag a spot ahead of time. (And if you’re headed to a place that’s letting admission be a free for all, be prepared to show up at the door super early, otherwise you’ll have to endure an almost impossible wait to get in). 

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