A pet dog looks on glumly as he awaits the St Patrick's Day Parade in Montreal. The parade dates back to 1824 but Irish influence here came much earlier. Irish soldiers of the Montreal Garrison marked their national holiday as far back as 1759.
Boston – Fact Check

When everyone is Irish for the day

Photo by icpix_can

Boston – Fact Check When everyone is Irish for the day

It may host the second biggest St Patrick’s Day Parade in the USA after New York, but Boston can claim to be the most Irish.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

The earliest celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in America is said to have taken place in Boston in 1737, but the parade closest to its current form dates back to March 17, 1862.

The mass migration of Irish after the Great Famine in the 1840s saw a jump in the number of Irish organizations, many of whom organized their own parades in America. Eventually, these groups started to amalgamate their efforts.

More than 20 percent of Massachusetts residents claim Irish ancestry and this number jumps to around 45 percent or more in several communities in South Boston (“Southie”).

The Parade starts at 1pm at Broadway MBTA station and ends at Andrew Square, South Boston. Up to one million people – most wearing green – line the route to watch thousands of marchers, hundreds of groups, dozens of Irish and American pipe and drum bands, and plenty of colorful floats.

March 17 in Boston is also Evacuation Day, which commemorates the day in 1776 when British troops left Boston and is a local holiday. The parade is held on the Sunday closest to St Patrick’s Day (March 17).

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