CALENDAR OF EVENTS - click on month for more info > Jul 21 Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

February 1, 2011
Michael Quinlin: 617 696-9880

Ron D’Amico, MOTT / 617 521 5428

For Immediate Release

Massachusetts Announces Schedule of Irish Parades and
Cultural Events this St. Patrick’s Day

(BOSTON) -- The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) and state tourism officials today released the 2011 schedule of St. Patrick’s Day parades and cultural events planned this March in cities and towns across Massachusetts.   The US Census reports that nearly 24% of residents claim Irish ancestry, making Massachusetts the most Irish-American state in the USA.

Local tourism officials are encouraging tourists to visit Massachusetts for its Irish parades, festivals, and ongoing cultural activities this March and throughout the year.

“Massachusetts has so much to offer people who want to immerse themselves in world culture,” says Betsy Wall, executive director of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT). “During the month of March, there are terrific activities throughout the Commonwealth that celebrate Irish heritage. You don’t have to travel far distances, at great expense, to get a taste of Ireland: It’s All Here.”

Pat. Moscaritolo, President of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, says “Boston's Irish community offers a wonderful way to explore the city's illustrious history and contemporary ambiance. Boston’s  Irish Heritage Trail covers three centuries of Irish history, and Irish pubs are a big part of the city's night life.  Once you visit Boston you'll see why it is considered the Capital of Irish America.”

“Smart travelers and local residents have long discovered the joys of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Massachusetts, emphasizing contemporary Irish culture and exploring  the rich strains of Irish-American culture and heritage.” says Colette Quinlin, director of Boston Irish Tourism Association.

BITA’s Travel & Culture Guide, a 28 page magazine of Irish activities, is available free in March at visitor kiosks, hotels, shops and cultural venues around the state.  To find a location near you, click here


March 5
Cape Cod: Saturday, March 5, 11:00 am

March 13
Worcester: Sunday, March 13, Noon

March 20
Abington: Sunday, March 20, 1:00 pm
Holyoke: Sunday, March 20, 11:50 am
South Boston: Sunday, March 20, 1:00 pm
Scituate: Sunday, March 20, 1:00 pm

March 27
Manchester, NH: Sunday, March 27, Noon


  • Irish writer Joseph O’Connor reads from his novel, Ghost Light, at Harvard Bookstore on February 23
  • Ray O’Hanlon, editor of the Irish Echo newspaper, reads from his new novel, The South Lawn Plot, at Four Green Fields in Boston on February 26
  • Michael P. Quinlin discusses How the Irish Imagined the Civil War at Lawrence Heritage State Park on February 27
  • Colin Broderick reads from his book Orangutan at Four Green Fields in Boston on February 28
  • Dr. John Condon lectures on The Irish and the American Civil War at Lawrence Heritage State Park on March 6
  • Boston’s Huntington Theatre presents Educating Rita by playwright Willy Russell, March 11-April 10
  • Stewart O’Nan reads from his new novel, Emily Alone, at Porter Square Books in Cambridge on March 17
  • Historian David McCullough receives the JFK Award in Holyoke on March 19
  • Robert Bateman lectures on Irish Civil War soldier Timothy Deasy at Lawrence Heritage State Park on March 20
  • Theatre director Gemma Whalen reads from her book, Fiona Stolen Child at Four Green Fields in Boston on March 23
  • Irish Voice columnist Mike Farragher reads from his book This is your Brain on Shamrocks at Four Green Fields on March 30
  • Sports writer George Kimball talks about his boxing book, Manly Art at Four Green Fields in Boston on April 4
  • Irish novelist Colm Toibin reads at Boston College on April 14

Music and Dance

  • Ireland’s rollicking rock band, The Saw Doctors, perform at Boston’s House of Blues on March 4
  • The Makem & Spain Brothers play at the Roger Center for the Arts at Andover College in North Andover on March 5
  • Robbie O’Connell and Aoife Clancy perform at Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland RI on March 5
  • Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (Irish Musicians Association) Ceili Dance is in Watertown on March 6
  • Irish tenor John McDermott performs at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury on March 10
  • London’s Irish-punk band, The Pogues, perform at Boston’s House of Blues on March 11-12
  • Reagle Theatre presents “A Little Bit of Ireland” in Waltham on March 11-13
  • Women of Ireland comes to Lynn Auditorium in Lynn on March 12
  • Celtic Woman, seen on PBS, performs at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH on March 15
  • Traditional Irish ensemble Dervish performs at the Palace Theatre in Manchester NH on March 16
  • Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Beehive Jazz Club in Boston’s South End with The Heatons, Maeve Gilchrist and Paddy League on March 17
  • Boston’s favorite punk-Irish band, the Dropkick Murphys, performs at House of Blues on March 16-18
  • The New England Irish Harp Orchestra performs at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library on March 19
  • Ireland’s traditional music group, Lunasa, performs at Blackstone River Theatre on March 20
  • Irish tenor Ronan Tynan performs at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on March 27
  • Irish traditional musicians Brian Conway and Brendan Dolan perform at Boston College on March 31
  • Canadian Celtic rockers, Enter the Haggis, perform at Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury on April 8
  • A Celtic Crossing, featuring singer Pauline Wells, celebrates its fifth anniversary concert at Milton High School on April 16

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

No visit to Boston is complete without a stop at the John F. Kennedy Library, the official repository for President John F. Kennedy, the nation’s 35th president and America’s first president of Irish-Catholic ancestry. Current exhibits celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s historic first year in office, while forums, lectures and educational programs flourish year round.


There are dozens of hotels in greater Boston with close access to the parade and to pubs and restaurants, cultural events, gift shops and Irish landmarks.

Pubs and Restaurants

  • The Black Rose Pub in downtown Boston celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2011 as one of America’s most popular Irish pubs.
  • The Burren Pub in Somerville celebrates its 15th anniversary as one of the premier centers for Irish traditional music in the United States.
  • Cuffe’s Bar at the Irish-owned Back Bay Hotel on Stuart Street has a contemporary Irish ambiance.
  • Eastern Standard Restaurant at Boston’s Hotel Commonwealth offers great food, drink and atmosphere
  • Fiddler’s Green Pub at Hibernian Cultural Center in Worcester has Irish set dancing every Monday night
  • Hurricane O’Reilly’s in Boston’s North End, is a perfect place to catch a meal and a brew before or after the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins games at nearby TD Banknorth Garden.
  • The Last Hurrah, located in the Omni Parker House Hotel in downtown Boston, has a rich history of hosting political rallies and parties for the Kennedy family, James Michael Curley and others.
  • The Skellig Pub in Waltham has live music six nights a week, featuring great local Irish musicians.

Irish Cultural and Social Organizations

  • American Ireland Fund’s Young Leaders Celebration takes place on March 10
  • The Charitable Irish Society, formed on March 17, 1737, holds its annual dinner on March 17
  • Boston Irish Film Festival takes place March 24-27
  • The annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, hosted by State Senator Jack Hart, takes place at the Boston Convention Center in South Boston on March 20
  • The AOH of Lawrence celebrates Irish Heritage Month long with lectures, exhibits and concerts

Sporting Events

  • The Boston Celtics play the Indiana Pacers on March 16 in TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.
  • Ras na hEireann 5K road race in Somerville ends at the Burren Pub in Davis Square on March 13
  • Holyoke St. Patrick’s road race takes place on March 19
  • South Boston 5K road race starts and ends at the Boys & Girls Club, on March 20

Irish–American Heritage

The Bostonian Society holds an historical reenactment of the Boston Massacre on March 5 at the Old State House.  One of the five victims of the Massacre on March 5, 1770 was Irish sailor Patrick Carr.

Evacuation Day ceremonies take place at Dorchester Heights in South Boston on March 17, from where  colonists aimed cannons at the British navy, forcing them to flee Boston Harbor on March 17, 1776.

Boston Irish Heritage Trail

BITA created Boston’s first Irish Heritage Trail to celebrate the city’s rich Irish history.  The three-mile, self-guided walking tour goes from the Rose Kennedy Garden on the waterfront through downtown Boston and Back Bay, ending up at Fenway Park.  The 20 sites celebrate the Irish experience in Boston dating back to colonial times.  A map of the Trail is available for free at the visitor information centers on Boston Common and at the Prudential Center.  Guided Tours are available in the spring. Contact 617 696 9880 or for details.


Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA)  promotes the state’s Irish-American community year round to the travel industry and to local residents.   A membership organization, BITA also promotes travel between Massachusetts and Ireland, Northern Ireland and Celtic Canada.  For year round details on cultural events, pubs, gift shops, hotels, travel agencies, visit

For year round tourist information on all cultural activities and travel amenities in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism at

For conventions and meetings, visit Massachusetts Convention Center Authority at

For year round tourist information, go to Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau at

BITA web sites include:

Irish Massachusetts /
Boston Irish Heritage Trail /
Patrick S. Gilmore Society /
Boston Irish Famine Memorial /

BITA blogs include:

Irish Massachusetts blog /
Irish Boston blog /


Home Hotels Travel Shopping Cultural Groups Cultural Venues Pubs & Restaurants
© Boston Irish Tourism Association  | E-Mail