People on both sides of the river celebrate St. Patick's Day, but it has special meaning for St. Paul, where the Irish played an integral part in the founding and growth of the city.
The St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Paul has grown from about 300 attending in 1851 to more than 100,000 people coming out to celebrate. In addition to the parade, the Irish Music & Dance Association presents it 32nd annual St. Patrick's Day Irish Celebration & Day of Irish Dance at Landmark Center.
Three Irish immigrants who served as soldiers at Fort Snelling became the first settlers in the area of downtown St. Paul. Later, Archbishop John Ireland helped thousands of Irish emigrate from Ireland and the East Coast of the US to Minnesota in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with the majority settling in St. Paul.
The Irish have have dominated local business, labor and politics, with many Irish mayors… including current St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman, and his predecessor Randy Kelly.
Minneapolis is not to left out of celebrating as well, however… had Minneapolis clients greet me with an Irish button yesterday… and after singing with Hymnus Angelicus as guests for mass at the Basilica of St. Mary yesterday, we were treated to a rendition of Danny Boy at the end of the service!