Lads and lasses: St. Patrick's Day festivities begin this Friday (March 17th) as the green beer, corned beef and cabbage will be served up in more ways than one. But there is one thing missing from this annual celebration where everybody is Irish for a day. The extravagant parade which will NOT step down locally here in the beautiful Berkshires. But I have a suggestion where you can par take in an array of floats with the sound of bagpipes permeating through the jubilant surroundings and you don't have that far to go.

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The 70th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place in neighboring Holyoke, Massachusetts. The event kicks off at 12 noon, so my advice to you is get there as early as possible to stake your claim on a prime viewing spot. The route starts north on Northampton St. to Beech Street, east on Beech St. to Appleton, St. South east on Appleton St. to High Street and ends north from High St. to Hampden St. For more details, log on to this web site.

people running marathon

On Saturday, you can lace up your tennis shoes and participate in The 46th annual St. Patrick's Day road race which kicks off on Maple Street. This 2 mile trek is well attended as you should reserves your place as pre-registration is required by going here. It's also a terrific opportunity to explore the city of Holyoke in a unique perspective.

Smiling young people drinking craft beer in pub on St Patrick's Day holiday

Afterwards, head over to one of Holyoke's bars or restaurants where you are supporting local businesses as this annual event regenerates the economy dutring these difficult times, but it should NOT stop you from enjoying yourself. Sage advice on the "green beer": Moderation is the key as always, but feel free to indulge in plenty of corned beef and cabbage, a St. Paddy's Day tradition!

Homemade Corned Beef and Cabbage with Carrots and Potatoes

BOTTOM LINE: Wear the green, support a neighboring city and ERIN GO BRAGH! Remember to watch out for those crafty little leprechauns as they might be up to some mischief as they are in quest for that elusive "pot of gold!"


(Some information and featured image obtained in this article, courtesy of

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