Holyoke hosts the second largest St. Patrick's Day festival in the country, beat out only by the residents of New York City. Annually, the city expects around 400,000 people, Irish or otherwise, to descend on the downtown area to celebrate all things green. The parade has marching bands, classic cars, and a variety of floats build to honor Irish culture and the Holyoke community. In addition to the parade, there is even a massively popular road run event which attracts thousands of competitors. There is also the Grand Colleen Pageant in which one lucky young lady will be crowned the Grand Colleen and win a trip for two to Ireland and a $500 scholarship.
The Wisteriahurst Mus
The Wisteriahurst Museum is located on the former estate of the Skinners, a family of prominent producers of silk and satin at the end of the 19th century. Before stepping inside the mansion, be sure to explore the grounds around the house, including areas which feature many of the original ornaments and are wonderfully landscaped. Once inside the house, visitors feel as if they have stepped back in to the time of the Skinners. A guided tour takes them through the rooms of the house whose ornate opulence has been preserved. Throughout the tour, the story of two generations of the family who prospered and declined in the home unfolds, providing insight into a formative time in our nation's history.