Authentic Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in NYC
by Erin O’Hara, 03/07/2012
Black 47 (left) photo by Marc Blandori; Guinness at Dempsey's pub photo by Will Steacy
While pots of gold and kelly-green everything are the customary accoutrements of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the United States, these holiday traditions are largely of our own invention. American festivities originated in the mid-1700s as a statement of pride by Irish immigrants who were protesting unfair treatment here and British rule back home. New York City was the location of the first St. Patrick's Day Parade, in 1762; it is now considered the largest such parade in the world (it's to be held this year on March 16, the day before St. Patrick's Day itself). In a fete that shouldn't be missed, myriad bagpipers and Irish dancers, accompanied by 200,000 marchers, take over Midtown, with plenty of support from some 2 million spectators. This year, consider leaving the face paint and leprechaun hats at home and celebrating the holiday with authentic Irish activities like a hearty meal or a heartfelt sing-along.