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Iowa’s St. Paddy’s Day Fests Keep Other States Green With Envy
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Iowa’s St. Paddy’s Day Fests Keep Other States Green With Envy

While some of us may want to hop a plane to Dublin, others can stay put in the Hawkeye State. Mark your calendars for these great events that are sure to make our neighbors green with envy!


Iowa’s Irish community is patriotic. Named in honor of Ireland’s celebrated humanitarian, Robert Emmett (1778-1803), the Iowans of Emmetsburg are proud to “speak his name.”  Visit the St. Patrick’s Association of Emmetsburg to enjoy their week-long events and to learn more about the settlers from Ireland that founded the city.

Read Emmett’s famous “Speech from the Dock” below *


Head out to the Quad Cities to catch this unbelievable parade, named one of the top ten in North America, join the crowds to celebrate this cultural affair. Watch step dancers, smile to traditional Irish music, marvel at seanachies' stories and delight in Irish refreshments. This year’s celebration hosts tenor, Michael Londra, the cast of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance... plus a family friendly foot race. 

Des Moines

Enjoy the fun with the privately sponsored St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Des Moines. You’ll feel good doing good, as this “party” raises funds for charities. Visit the non-profit’s (Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Central Iowa) website to learn more!

Cedar Rapids

It’s a big year for the folks of Cedar Rapids. This annual Irish festival celebrates over forty years of Irish heritage. The parade kicks off on March 17th rain or shine – rain makes the atmosphere more authentic!


Revel in the history of Dyersville while celebrating Irish history during the town’s St. Paddy’s Day events.  The day starts with the “Gaelic Gallop” road race and continues with entertainment, vendors and more!

Iowa wishes - “Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!” 

*Robert Emmett was executed for High Treason in 1803. “I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; no man shall dare to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare to calumniate me. Let my character and my motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice. Then shall my character be vindicated; then may my epitaph be written.”


Photo Courtesy: Flickr

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  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    What a wonderful list of events in great places! Thanks for contributing to the Travel Iowa blog.
    Log in to reply.


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