Feeling Lucky? Did Montana Make The Top 10 Most Irish States?
Leprechauns, Shamrocks, Parades...
These are just a few things that we associate with St Patrick's Day. Let's be honest here, there are very few holidays that are more fun than March 17th. Think about it, folks from all different backgrounds dress in green, eat corn beef and cabbage, and drink beer...lots of beer.
It's the one day a year that no matter who you are, or where you're from, everyone gets to be Irish.
So what is it about the Irish that people love so much? There are several reasons, really. For starters, their fun-loving nature, their music and dancing, their storytelling, history, and often "colorful" language certainly sets them apart. The Irish are some of the most beloved folks in the world. We know that there is a large Irish population and heritage across the United States, but what about here in Montana? How do we stack up compared to the rest of the country?
You just might be surprised.
Most folks in and around Montana are familiar with the large Irish population in Butte. Tens of thousands of Irish moved to the once-booming mining town to work in the silver and copper mines in the late 1800s, which resulted in a strong Irish heritage that still remains today. In fact, back in 2011, the Irish Times said that Butte might just be the most Irish town in America.
Let me get this straight, the most Irish town in America is Butte, Montana? Close.
With 28 percent of Butte residents coming from Irish heritage, Butte is the second most Irish town in the United States. It's not just Butte though, Montana is ranked in the Top 10 most Irish States in the U.S. according to zippia.com. So where do we fall? I'm happy to report that we come in at number 9. The study, which was done last year shows that 14 percent of all Montanans are Irish. So out of the total population of the state, over 144 thousand come from Irish heritage.
So if you're looking for something to do to get into the spirit of it all, here are a few suggestions:
- St. Patricks Day Parade, Street Party, and Celtic Fair in Billings on March 12th.
- Butte St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17th.
- Celtic St. Patricks Day Celebration in Great Falls on March 17th.
- St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Brannigans in Kalispell on March 17th and 18th.
- Run to the Pub in Bozeman on March 19th.
Personally, I'm proud of my Irish heritage and I love all the traditions that come with the holiday and quite frankly, being Irish. It was once said that "the Irish treat a joke as a serious thing and a serious thing as a joke." Pretty good words to live by if you ask me.