Once I went to St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Milwaukee for the St. Patrick's service. It was spectacular and a moving spiritual experience that I'll never forget. The service started with authentic bag pipers dressed in beautiful kilts. I wish I could experience that again.When you're in Chicago, especially on the South Side, St. Patrick's Day is a MAJOR celebration! For many years, my BIL and SIL lived 2 doors off the parade route for the South Side Irish Parade (which became larger than the downtown Chicago parade). After BIL and SIL moved, we assumed host/hostess duties for the day. At that time, we lived 2 blocks off the parade route. It was a day-long celebration with family and friends. Decorations went up March 1st and we'd start playing and singing along to the South Side Irish song.
Parade day was always the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day (the downtown parade was the Saturday before). Morning (with immediate family) began with eggs, corned beef hash, potatoes O'Brien, and rye toast. We'd start the party around 10:30 or 11:00 with warm Irish Soda Bread. I'd also have Irish-flavored coffee, green juice (Hi-C, used to be called Ecto Cooler, not sure what it is now), as well as fixings for those who wanted to start with the "real" Irish coffee. Guests would typically contribute an appetizer for pre-parade festivities. The parade stepped off at noon; we were towards the end of the route, so we'd listen for the first sounds of the bands and/or sirens and then head out to watch.
Post-parade, we'd all come back to the house and have corned beef sandwiches, potato salad, cole slaw, maybe mac salad, relish tray, etc. There would be "green fluff" for dessert, along with shamrock cookies, mint-chip cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. Lots of beer, wine, and other beverages would be flowing, too.
Although I no longer live in Chicago-proper, I moved my St. Patrick's Day celebration with me to the south suburbs, where I would normally still celebrate with friends and relatives. Last year, Illinois went on lock-down the weekend of our "gathering of the clan." Last year, the South Side Irish Parade was quickly cancelled, but I still had a few close friends and family for a get-together with a corned beef brisket in the crock pot.
This year, St. Pat's will be marked with only a few individuals who are closest to me, since my area is still struggling with vaccine distribution and many (myself included) are not yet eligible to vaccinate. Decorations will still go up, though perhaps not as many as in the past, and the menu will be more limited, given the fewer guests. But we'll still get our Irish on!
SSI Parade pictures at https://southsideirishparade.org/ and https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/south-side-irish-parade?phrase=south side irish parade&sort=mostpopular
More about the South Side Irish song: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Side_Irish
I know Chicago has an amazing celebration but here's a shout-out for Newport, Rhode Island. Their St. Patrick's Day parade was awesome and they have an awesome Irish Festival in the summer. Lots of bagpipes and kilts.Once I went to St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Milwaukee for the St. Patrick's service. It was spectacular and a moving spiritual experience that I'll never forget. The service started with authentic bag pipers dressed in beautiful kilts. I wish I could experience that again.
I do the same.We do! I'll wait until March 1st to decorate. I still have the winter and St. Valentine's decorations up.