Irish colonists brought Saint Patrick’s Day to what is now the United States of America. The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in the 13 colonies took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737.[23] During this first celebration The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized what was the first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in the colonies on 17 March 1737.[24] The first celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756,[25] and New York’s first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March. This event became known as The St. Patrick’s Day Encampment of 1780.[24] Today, Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike.

Americans celebrate the holiday by wearing green clothing. Many people, regardless of ethnic background, wear green-coloured clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched, though this practice is in fact alien to those who actually come from Ireland.[26]

Some cities paint the traffic stripe of their parade routes green. Chicago dyes its river green and has done so since 1961 when sewer workers used green dye to check for sewer discharges and got the idea to turn the river green for St. Patrick’s Day.[27] Indianapolis also dyes its main canal green. Savannah dyes its downtown city fountains green. University of Missouri Rolla – St Pat’s Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks kelly green with mops before the annual parade.