This will be my first trip to Ireland and I will be there for St. Patrick's Day. Any advice on what the crowd will be like?
Yes, all of the above! To be honest I have stopped going into the city centre on St Patricks Day as it is always overly crowded and full of drunk revelling teenagers. (And adults!) There is no public transport on because of the parade. The parade & other organised activities as part of the St Patricks Festival are good and worth a look, but I would get out of the city centre as early in the day as possible to avoid the bedlam that ensues in the afternoon...!
The crowd in Dublin can be a shock to people for the first time. The parade itself is a good event, a lot more colour and entertainment that the type of events you'd see in the States, the biggest problem however kicks in once the parade finishes up, you get a lot of young teenagers drinking heavily for the rest of the day and the city centre can get very messy in terms of both litter and drunkeness.
To get away from this you need to find yourself a good bar with good Irish music and the like where you can sit back and relax for the rest of the day away from all the hassles and you'll have a good time.
The Skyfest fireworks display along the river is on the night after St Patricks Day, 18th of March. this is well worth going to. Go early to get a good spot though
Enjoy the Parade but be wary later in the day. The last couple of years there has been drunken violence. Enough to make News reports but not enough to get extra Gardai on the streets.
We were there last St. Patrick's Day and had a lot of fun. We were still adjusting to the time change so we went to bed rather early. But, we went to the parade, had dinner and hung out at the Brazen Head for a while.
There are a lot of people at the parade so be ready to walk a while to find a good spot. The parade is much different from those in the states- much more creative and artistic. There will be a lot of drinking and fighting afterward, so just be prepared for that.
I went up to the Parade last year and it was brilliant despite the freezing cold. No sign of rowdiness around Grafton Street or over at the funfair or music stand. Lots of Gards everywhere.
Please wrap up warm. There is a lot of standing around. Two american girls standing next to us, who had come over from Spain for the day, nearly got hypothermia.
Thanks so much for the advice on the weather, being from California I am not accustomed to the cold however I just bought a nice down jacket and a scarf so I think I should be all set!
I had another question I was hoping you could help me out with. Here in the states it is a must to wear green on St. Patrick's Day if you are going out to the bars. Is it the same in Dublin?