Offbeat St. Patrick's Day Traditions That Make Green Beer Seem Boring

When you think St. Patrick's Day, you normally think beer, parties, pubs, and kissing the Irish. In some places around the world, however, this day brings with it some special, hyper-original celebrations. If you're looking to step into a new realm of custom on March 17th, check out the destinations below.

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Name That Town

In New London, Wisconsin, members of the Shamrock Club of New Dublin dress up like sneaky little green leprechauns and change all of the signs in the town to read "New Dublin". If you end up just passing through the town on March 17th, don't get it confused.

Chicago River dyed green, buildings more prominent

Horrible Pollution or a Saintly Celebration?

In Chicago, Illinois, the town dumps a hefty amount of natural dye into the Chicago river in the days leading up to St. Patrick's Day so that the river runs green for all to see. For those who aren't familiar with this city's St. Patrick's Day celebrations, the green tinted river could be an unsettling discovery at first glance.

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The Great Birthplace Debate

In Banwen, Wales, rumor has it that St. Patrick was in fact born in the town and is of Welsh descent. On St. Patrick's Day, a parade marches to the stone where a plaque commemorating St. Patrick sits. Here they celebrate the saint's true heritage. (Sorry, Ireland, but the plaque is pretty convincing...)

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Big Celebrations on a Little Street

In Hot Springs, Arkansas, the town boasts the shortest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world. In the 1950's, Bridge Street in Hot Springs was named the world's shortest street in everyday use. In recent years, the Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the world has been hosted on this street in order to promote tourism in the area. This event it loads of fun for all in attendance - that is, while it lasts.

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Irish-African Heritage

Surprisingly enough, the Caribbean island of Montserrat is the only territory outside of Ireland that recognizes St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday due to the island's rich Irish heritage. March 17th is more than just a day to recognize St. Patrick, however. On that same day in 1768, the island saw a slave uprising, which today is celebrated in conjunction with St. Patrick's Day. The celebrations of Montserrat present visitors with a March 17th that is saturated with historical significance and is unlike any other.

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Paint the Town Green (Literally)

In the town of O'Neil, Nebraska, deemed the "Irish Capital of Nebraska", there sits the largest shamrock in the world in the form of a mural painted on the road at the intersection of 4th and Douglas Street. One of the many St. Patrick's Day celebratory events in the town involves repainting the giant shamrock onto the road.