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February 7, 2012
Michael Quinlin: 617 696-9880

For Immediate Release

Massachusetts Releases 2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Schedule and
Irish Cultural Activities

(BOSTON) -- Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) today released its 2012 schedule of St. Patrick’s Day activities – including six Irish parades and dozens of cultural events - taking place this March in cities and towns across Massachusetts.
With nearly 24% of residents claiming Irish ancestry, Massachusetts is the nation’s most Irish-American state and has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day dating back to March 17, 1737.   

Among the renowned musicians performing in the coming weeks are Irish traditional music bands Altan and Dervish; Celtic Woman and Riverdance of PBS fame; Irish tenors Ronan Tynan and Anthony Kearns; fiddle champion Seamus Connolly and Celtic Sojourn, hosted by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan; and Irish rockers the Saw Doctors and Boston’s own Dropkick Murphys.

In addition, there are hundreds of other Irish cultural activities taking place throughout March, which are available at    

Local tourism officials are encouraging tourists to visit Massachusetts in March to enjoy the parades and cultural festivities while taking advantage of great hotel and restaurant rates this time of year.

Patrick B. Moscaritolo, President of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, says, “Boston's Irish community offers a wonderful way to explore the city's illustrious history through the Irish Heritage Trail.   Once you visit Boston you'll see why it is called the Capital of Irish America.”

 The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism promotes Irish festivities on its web site,, as part of it’s year round celebration of the state’s many ethnic communities.

“Visitors and residents alike have a great time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Massachusetts,” says Colette Quinlin of Boston Irish Tourism Association.  “There a wide variety of contemporary culture direct from Ireland as well as rich strains of Irish-American culture and history.”

BITA’s March 2012 issue of Travel & Culture Guide, a free magazine that focuses on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England states, as well as travel to Canada and Ireland, is available at local visitor centers in early March.

2012 St. Patrick's Day Parades in Massachuetts and New Hampshire

March 10
Cape Cod: Saturday, March 10, 11:00 am/Begins at School Street and Route 28

March 11
Worcester: Sunday, March 11, Noon/ Begins at Mill Street and Park Avenue

March 18
Abington: Sunday, March 18, 1:00 pm/ Begins on Orange Street, off Washington Street
Holyoke: Sunday, March 18, 11:50 am/ Begins at K Mart Plaza
South Boston: Sunday, March 18, 1:00 pm/ Begins at West Broadway Bridge
Scituate: Sunday, March 18, 1:00 pm/ Begins at Gates Middle School

March 25
Manchester: NH: Sunday, March 27, Noon/ Begins at Elm Street and Webster Street

Irish Cultural and Social Organizations

  • 11th annual Kinsale, Ireland Festival of Fine Food takes place in Newport, RI on March 8-11
  • American Ireland Fund’s Young Leaders Celebration takes place in Boston on March 15
  • The Irish Pastoral Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012
  • Charitable Irish Society’s 275th anniversary Dinner takes Place on March 17 in Boston
  • St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, hosted annually by State Senator Jack Hart, takes place at the Boston Convention Center in South Boston on March 18
  • The City of Lawrence celebrates Irish Heritage Month each March with lectures, exhibits and concerts taking place at the Lawrence Heritage State Park and Lawrence Public Library.

Irish Music and Dance

  • Makem and Spain Brothers perform at Rogers Center for the Arts in North Andover on March 2
  • Famed Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan performs at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on March 3
  • Ireland’s famous traditional band, Dervish, perform at the Burren Pub in Somerville on March 7
  • The Boston Police Gaelic Pipes and Drums has its annual St. Patrick’s Day Party at Cabby Shack in Plymouth on March 8
  • Ireland’s rollicking rock band, The Saw Doctors, performs at Boston’s House of Blues on March 9
  • The Merry Ploughboys Perform at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on March 9
  • Altan, one of Ireland’s foremost traditional bands, performs at the Somerville Theatre on March 10
  • Boston’s favorite punk-Irish band, the Dropkick Murphys, performs at House of Blues on March 15-16
  • Celtic Woman, seen on PBS, performs at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH on March 16
  • WGBH radio host Brian O’Donovan presents Celtic Sojourn on March 17 at Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, and March 24 at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge 
  • Irish Rover perform at Lynn Auditorium on March 17  
  • Celtic ensemble Pendragon performs at Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland RI on March 18
  • Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher from Prince Edward Island perform at Hibernian Cultural Center in Worcester on March 23
  • Irish traditional band Runa performs at Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland RI on March 24
  • Lawrence Public Library features Ireland in Song: Melodies for the Voice and Piano on March 25
  • Famed Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns performs at the John F. Kennedy Library on March 27
  • Irish fiddle champ Seamus Connolly and Kieran Jordan Dancers perform at Boston College on March 29
  • Riverdance returns for its final performance at Citi Performing Arts Center on April 13-15
  • The theme of Boston Pops’ 2012 season is Visions of America and opens May 9
  • Famed Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns performs at the John F. Kennedy Library on March 27
  • Irish fiddle champ Seamus Connolly and Kieran Jordan Dancers perform at Boston College on March 29
  • Riverdance returns for its final performance at Citi Performing Arts Center on April 13-15
  • The theme of Boston Pops’ 2012 season is Visions of America and opens May 9

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

No visit to Boston is complete without a stop at the Kennedy Library, the official repository for the papers and materials of President John F. Kennedy, the nation’s 35th president and America’s first president of Irish-Catholic ancestry. In addition to year-round permanent exhibits, there’s a new exhibit entitled, In Her Voice: Jacqueline Kennedy, The White House Years, plus various forums, lectures and educational programs taking place.   On March 17, Themselves: An Immigrants Story, is performed for families and children, and on March 27, Irish tenor Anthony Kearns performs.


  • ArtsEmerson presents CIRCA, an Australian circus troupe, at Paramount Theatre through March 4
  • Fr. Sean McManus lectures on Northern Ireland at Lawrence State Heritage Park on March 11
  • The Irish Film Festival of Boston takes place in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville on March 22-25
  • Huntington Theatre presents Luck of the Irish at Boston Center for the Arts on March 30-April 29

Irish Gifts

  • The Butcher Shop Market in Adams Village, Dorchester, specializes in hand-made Irish sausages and meats, as well as imported foods, teas and sauces.  It has a small restaurant and sells Irish newspapers.
  • Irish Imports Ltd. In Cambridge carries hand-made Irish products from Kerry Woolen Mill, Donegal Design and top clothing designers.
  • Waterford Wedgwood Story at the Wrentham Premium Outlets carries a full line of exquisite Waterford products at great prices.
  • Wexford House Gift Shop in W. Boylston (Worcester) specializes in Irish jewelry, including Claddagh rings and Celtic Knot lines from leading designers.

Sporting Events

  • Holyoke St. Patrick’s road race takes place on March 17
  • Ras na hEireann 5K road race in Somerville ends at the Burren Pub in Davis Square on March 18
  • South Boston 5K road race starts and ends at the Boys & Girls Club, on March 18

Pubs and Restaurants

  • The Black Rose Pub in Downtown Boston is one of America’s most popular Irish pubs, with live music seven days a week.
  • The Burren Pub in Davis Square, Somerville has live Irish traditional music nightly.
  • The Four Green Fields Pub in Downtown Boston is the city’s newest Irish pub, with live music and an actual Irish Cottage located on site.
  • 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 when the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruin are playing at nearby TD Bank Garden.
  • The Last Hurrah is located in the Omni Parker House Hotel in downtown Boston, a venue with a rich history of hosting political rallies and parties for John F. Kennedy, James Michael Curley and others.
  • The Skellig Pub in Waltham has live music six nights a week, featuring great local Irish musicians, folk and bluegrass bands.

Irish –American History

  • An historical reenactment of the 1770 Boston Massacre takes place on March 10 in front of the Old State House.  Irish sailor Patrick Carr was one of the five victims.
  • Evacuation Day ceremonies take place at Dorchester Heights in South Boston on March 17, to commemorate the day when colonists forced the British navy to flee Boston Harbor on March 17, 1776. 

Boston Irish Heritage Trail

BITA created Boston’s first Irish Heritage Trail is a rite-of-spring in March.  The three-mile walking tour starts at the Rose Kennedy Garden on the waterfront and winds throughout downtown Boston and into Back Bay, ending up at Fenway Park.  The 20 sites along the way celebrate the illustrious Irish experience in Boston dating back to colonial times.  A map of the Trail is available at the visitor information centers on Boston Common and at the Prudential Center.   Guided tours are available in March and through the spring and summer.  For details visit

Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA)

BITA is a membership organization formed in 2000 to promote the state’s Irish-American community and hospitality industry year round to visitors from around the world.   BITA also promotes and encourages travel between Massachusetts/New England and Ireland/Northern Ireland and Canada. 

The US Census Bureau indicates that nearly 24% of Massachusetts residents claim Irish ancestry, making it the most Irish state in America.  For details visit

For year round details on Irish cultural activities, pubs, gift shops, hotels, travel agencies and cultural groups, visit

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

For information about conventions, visit the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority at

For visitor information about Boston, visit the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau at


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