For six days, New London becomes New Dublin in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Visitors can enjoy New Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Grand Parade & Irish Fest starting on Monday, March 12, which is designated as Leprechaun Day. On that day, magical leprechauns “appear” in New London to change the name to New Dublin, entertain the locals and show up at area businesses.
- Thursday, March 15 is Irish Entertainment Night. Artists from the New London area perform a variety of songs, dances and Irish comedy.
- On Saturday, March 17, visitors can attend the St. Patrick’s Day Grand Parade and New Dublin Irish Fest.
- The parade takes place in downtown New London and is the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Wisconsin.
- New Dublin Irish Fest will feature three bands, Irish food and beverages, and market booths. Entrance to Irish Fest is $5 for the entire day.
For some quirkier ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, head to River Falls on March 17.
- The city kicks-off the festivities with a Pot O’ Gold Medallion Hunt. Participants use clues to find a medallion hidden somewhere in the city. Clues are posted throughout the day in the local park.
- There’s also the Annual Potato Soup Cook-Off and the Patty O’Poker Walk, where you walk from bar to bar in downtown River Falls to collect a poker card at each location with the goal of building up your cards to the best poker hand by the end of the walk.
- The day ends with the annual River Falls Bed Races. Teams of five race down Main Street on a bed with wheels.
- If you’ve never seen a bed race – it’s four people pushing the bed while one person is the designated rider. All five people must be touching the bed when racing the mattress.
- There are challenges along the race for each team to complete before crossing the finish line.
Milwaukee’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Wisconsin. It was first celebrated in 1843, making it the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade held outside of the original 13 colonies. In fact, it predated Wisconsin’s statehood and Milwaukee’s incorporation as a city. The modern parade that we still celebrate today began in 1967.
- This year’s festivities start on Friday, March 9 with the Rock Bottom Bash O’ Corned Beef corned beef eating contest.
- Participants compete to see who can eat the most corned beef sandwiches in 10 minutes.
- Later that night, you can head over to the Miller Time Pub for the ShamROCK Kick-off Party featuring live Irish-themed entertainment.
- The parade starts on Saturday at noon. More than 140 Celtic dancers, bagpipe marching bands and floats take over the city’s downtown for the parade.
For more, check out travelwisconsin.com.