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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 26, 2006

No shortage of St. Patrick's Day events

By ROGER PETTERSON
Associated Press

Enjoying his own parade, a "St. Patrick" representative leads the St. Patrick Day parade floats down O'Connell Street in Dublin, Ireland, one of many worldwide.

AP LIBRARY PHOTO | March 17, 2005

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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."