The Irish are known for their warm hearts, creative music, and friendly spirits making them some of the most likeable people on earth.
And the good news is – you don’t have to venture to Ireland to hang out with these laidback folks – you can do it right here in America.
So if you’re looking to take a trip and roam where the Irish do – check out 3 of the most Irish cities in America.
Did you know more than 32 million Americans claim Irish ancestry?
When the Irish first immigrated to the States – they weren’t welcomed and faced major discrimination.
But their grit and hardworking mentality propelled them to the top – and now the Irish are a welcomed part of our American society – and a beloved group of people who are respected and admired.
So what cities still boast a large Irish population?
Boston’s Irish heritage runs deep – and Bostonians are proud of their Irish roots and traditions that are passed down from generation to generation.
In fact, the Port of Boston was a major immigration hub during the Great Irish Famine – and by 1850 the Irish were the largest ethnic group in Boston, reported Revere Hotel Boston Common.
But the Irish weren’t always welcomed or wanted in Boston.
“With immigration controls left primarily to the states and cities, the Irish poured through a porous border. In Boston, a city of a little more than 100,000 people saw 37,000 Irish arrive in the matter of a few years. Naturally, it was difficult to integrate the newcomers in such sheer numbers.
The Irish in Boston were for a long time “fated to remain a massive lump in the community, undigested, undigestible,” according to historian Oscar Handlin, author of “Boston’s Immigrants, 1790-1880: A Study in Acculturation.”
And while the Irish held the title as the largest ethnic group in 1850 – they still proudly carry this title today.
There’s a reason people flock to Massachusetts to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as 19.8 percent of the population claim Irish ancestry.
The Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of the best in the nation and attracts nearly one million people to witness the 3.5-mile parade route in South Boston.
Whether you want to visit an Irish pub and pound back a cold one or be entertained by bagpipers and Irish dancers – Boston is a must visit during St. Patrick’s Day!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau – nearly 11 percent of Pittsburgh residents claim Irish roots.
The Irish first arrived in the 1700s – with another group arriving in the early 1800s – and then yet another towards the middle of the 1800s to escape the Great Potato Famine.
And while the city loves to embrace their Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day – they celebrate it all year round.
Positively Pittsburgh reported:
“Pittsburgh celebrates its Irish pride year-round, not just on St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish Centre of Pittsburgh strives to educate its members and the community about the culture of the Gaelic people. It hosts lectures, classes, arts and crafts, music, drama, and dance, as well as social and athletic events to preserve the city’s Irish heritage.”
And of course – an article about the Irish wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Cleveland.
Afterall, nearly 13-percent of Clevelanders claim Irish ancestry and their roots run deep with a heart and soul for tradition you just can’t manufacture.
This city starts celebrating St. Patrick’s Day 6 months before with their “half-way” to St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
And on St. Patrick’s Day – the entire city shuts down for the parade around Public Square where Irish dancers, drill teams, bagpipers, and floats march through downtown to celebrate all things Irish.
Clevelanders love the Irish – and even have a monument dedicated to the Irish honoring all those who lost their lives during the Irish Potato Famine.
The inscription on the Famine Memorial reads:
“This memorial commemorates the passing of 150 years since the misery known as “The Great Hunger”. A carnage visited upon the Irish nation diminishing her population by millions as a result of imposed political and economic structures, many of the Irish were driven to the potato alone for survival. Consequently, Ireland’s people starved to death or were forced to emigrate. Many dying on “Coffin Ships” en route. This is one of the most tragic and significant events in Irish history.
Lest we forget: To those who died, to those who came and enriched our Cleveland shores we dedicate this monument to you.
Erected on the anniversary of the ‘Great Hunger’ by the Greater Cleveland Irish Community in the year of our Lord 2000.”
I recommend visiting Cleveland anytime of the year – but especially on St. Patrick’s Day!
So if you are looking to learn more about the Irish and hear more about their history (they’ll be happy to share their Irish roots with you) – head to one of these Irish cities.
And if you haven’t yet been to Ireland to witness firsthand the “40 shades of green” – definitely add Ireland to your travel bucket list!
Have you ever been to Boston, Pittsburgh or Cleveland?
If so, what was your experience like?
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