How to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Greater Boston

Saint Patrick's Day is a Boston staple. After the potato famine in Ireland, many Irish immigrated to the United States, particularly to Boston. As a result, the city has a long-standing tradition with the Irish culture. Bottom line: we know what we're doing on March 17.

Southie Parade
This is a no-brainer. If you've never been to Boston before and want the Paddy experience, this is it. Southie is home to many generations of Irish immigrants, and they've been celebrating for 115 years.

To be an actual pro, line the street on March 20 at Broadway Station. Get there a bit before 1pm, and you'll be able to see the parade. Any time past that, you'll observe the beautiful, bald heads of many onlookers. Not a good way to enjoy the bagpipes, marching bands and floats.

Dropkick Murphys
Originally from Quincy, this band is Boston's contribution to traditional Irish music but with a twist: it's Celtic punk. Hits include "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" and "The State of Massachusetts." They've gone through a few band changes, but their sound has stayed true to their roots.

Just as every year, they're performing at the House of Blues. They'll be there March 16 to the 18, but get tickets soon. They usually sell out way in advance.

Celtic Sojourn
Are the Dropkick Murphy's too punk for you? Celtic Sojourn serves a more traditional role. Head to the Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, and there, you'll find local celebrity Brian O'Donovan hosting the 11th annual St Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn on March 17. Tickets range from $25 to $45.

Every year, dance numbers and musical acts light up the stage. This year, The Outside Track, Matthew Byrne, and many more have been invited to celebrate St. Patty's Day. If you're still unsure about going, tune in on Saturdays at 3pm on 89.7 WGBH to get a taste for Brian's musical offerings.

Irish Heritage Trail
Every year at around March 17, anything Irish could potentially be incredibly overwhelming. However, this trail offers a more subdued approach to the festivities. While everyone else is at the parade or at a rock venue, you can leisurely stroll through Boston, touring the historical landmarks and the rich Irish influence on the city.

More information is available at the Irish Heritage Trail website.

Irish Pints
If you want to avoid the crowds and still want an authentic Irish experience, head to a local pub. My two favorites are the Irish Village (IV) and The Druid. The two places fill my "good Irish pub criterion:" Irish bartenders, Irish patrons and phenomenal Guinness pours. Keep in mind if you're looking for food, the IV is lacking, but you can bring in your own. The Druid, on the other hand, has a full kitchen and award-winning fish and chips. Take it from me — they're darn good.

Whether it's a stroll through the park or a night out with your — ahem — Guinness out, Boston has you covered this March 17.

Natalia has lived in the Greater Boston Area for 20 years. She's written about the food and theater scene for the Culver City News, the Dig and Whisked Foodie.