Logo   March in New England
St Patrick's Day may bring an end to snow in southern New England, but this means mud time begins....and so does maple sugaring.


Traditional wisdom holds that after St. Patrick's Day (March 17) there will be no more big snowstorms in the southern New England states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island)—but traditional wisdom is occasionally wrong.

In any case, the weather is still cold, and ski resorts in the northern New England states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) have plenty of snow until April.

Saint Patrick's Day

Celebrated on March 17th as an Irish heritage day for all Americans, St Patrick's Day is not a holiday—except in Massachusetts' Suffolk County, which includes the City of Boston.

In Suffolk County, March 17th is officially commemorated as Evacuation Day, the date in 1776 on which British forces in Boston, under siege by the Continental Army, decided to withdraw ("evacuate") to Nova Scotia. This signal victory of the Revolutionary War was celebrated in 1902 with the completion of the Dorchester Heights Monument on the hill where the Continentals positioned the cannons that convinced the British to withdraw.

Irish influence having been powerful in Boston during the first half of the 20th century, the proclamation of March 17th as a local patriotic holiday allowed the celebration of St Patrick as well.

Some local government offices are closed on Evacuation Day, but most businesses, museums, etc. are open. A St Patrick's Day parade is held in South Boston, historic home of Boston's Irish-American community.

Mud Time & Maple Sugar

Late March and early April are "mud time" in much of New England, when warming days and chill nights produce partial thaw in the fields and on the hiking trails.

Farmers take advantage of the warming weather and rising sap for "sugaring off," tapping their maple trees for sap and boiling it down to make maple syrup.

Some country inns and sugar houses provide glimpses of the maple sugaring process. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan



Skiing in New England

Tom's New England Almanac

New England's Climate

Festivals & Holidays

When to Go Homepage

New England Transportation



Half-frozen river, New England

The Concord River in Concord MA, still mostly frozen in March of a very cold winter.

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