No shortage of St. Patrick's Day events
By ROGER PETTERSON
By ROGER PETTERSON
Whether you're Irish or just wish you were, St. Patrick's Day is a fine reason to travel to a place that celebrates Celtic history and tradition — and that provides a good party.
It wouldn't be Irish without shamrocks. Get an unexpected slant on the holiday at Shamrock, Texas — www.shamrocktx.net — where they observe St. Patrick's Day with a country fair and a rodeo.
If that's a little untraditional for you, there's lots of green, including the park fountains, in Savannah, Ga. The city claims the nation's second largest St. Patrick's Day parade — www .savannahsaintpatricksday.com — and one of the oldest. There's no rodeo, but there is a St. Patrick's Day parade, a Celtic Cross ceremony and the Greening of the Fountain ceremony.
While you're there, enjoy the Savannah Music Festival, according to the local convention & visitor's bureau — www .savannah-visit.com/ — a source of information on places to stay and other things to see and do.
From Savannah's green fountains, move up to the greening of the river at Chicago — www.chicagostpatsparade.com — and enjoy the city's 51st annual St. Pat's parade. The city's CVB — www.choosechicago .com — has what you need to know about nightlife for post-parade relaxation, plus shopping in Chicago's many boutiques, galleries and specialty shops.
Don't forget Boston, where there's a complete Boston Irish Tourism Association — www.irishmassachusetts.com/index.html — with a list of the area's parades, including South Boston. There's also a directory of Irish bars and restaurants such as the Last Hurrah, a politicians' hangout that has been around for almost 150 years.
But, of course, this country's best known celebration is New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade — www.saintpatricksdayparade.com/NYC/newyorkcity.htm — up Fifth Avenue. Check out the parade history — the first one on record was in lower Manhattan in 1762 — and look for their suggestions for best viewing spots. For other parades around New York and the rest of the country, click on "Home" in the upper left corner.
The parade has to be on Fifth Avenue because that's where St. Patrick's Cathedral sits. Visit the Archdiocese — ny-archdiocese.org/pastoral — and click on the Cathedral link to learn about its history. By the way, this isn't the original; New York Architecture Images can show you the first St. Pat's — www.nyc-architecture .com/SOH/SOH038.htm — still in use in Little Italy.
After the parade, if you're not focused on partying in one of the city's many Irish bars, click on "Visitors" at the city's NYC & Co. — www.nycvisit.com — to learn about shopping, places to stay and Broadway shows. Check out "Things to Do" for television productions you can watch live, including "Saturday Night Live" and "David Letterman," then scan "Maps & Neighborhoods" to see where things are and explore "Itineraries."