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St. Patrick's Day: Three little U.S. towns that celebrate in a big way

Three U.S. towns that might surprise you in their commitment to St. Patrick's Day and their Irish heritage.

Where's everyone going on St. Patrick's Day? Massachusetts might be the place to be Tuesday.

The state has the highest concentration -- more than 20% -- of U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry, according to consumer website Nerd Wallet.

Then there are smaller towns with a surprisingly Irish tilt that will be celebrating too.

Scituate, Mass: Scituate, on the coast between Boston and Plymouth, calls itself the "Irish Riviera." Nerd Wallet says Weymouth is the most Irish city in the state, a title Scituate held in 2011, media reports say.

Even so, Scituate elects a St. Patrick's Day mayor every year (resident Billy Sullivan just won) and organizes a St. Paddy's-themed parade, Mad Hatter's Ball and St. Pat's Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.

But don't expect any of the events to happen anytime soon. Earlier in March the city postponed St. Patrick's Day until April 12 because of the huge amount of winter snow that at the time blocked parking and access around town. So there's plenty of time to make plans to go!

Pearl River, N.Y.: Turns out New York City may hold the oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country, but it doesn't have the biggest concentration of Irish descendants. Nerd Wallet found that Pearl River on Long Island wins that distinction.

More than half the town's roughly 16,000 people claim Irish or Irish-Scot heritage, according to the study. It will host the 53rd Rockland County St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday, an event known to draw as many as 50,000 spectators, according to its website.

Butte, Mont.: What could be farther from Irish strongholds in Boston and New York City? Butte-Silver Bow, as the city-county is known, says 21% of residents are of Irish ancestry. The book "The Butte Irish" talks about the history of the Irish connection in the mining town.

The city will hold a St Patrick's Day Parade Tuesday featuring several pipe and drum corps as well as floats, Irish dancing performances and others, according to the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce's website. In the evening, the city hosts a "Handing Down the Heritage" celebration of storytelling, music and dancing.

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