Best St. Patrick’s Day Parades
Irish Parades for St. Patrick’s Day
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with GAYOT’s roundup of the best parades and festivals across North America to find family-friendly ways to remember Ireland’s patron saint.
These annual events — many of them dating back two centuries or more — feature impressive floats, bagpipe players, Irish bands and, of course, plenty of beer. Take a look below to find out how cities from San Francisco to Boston (and the biggest St. Paddy’s parade in Canada) are honoring the luck and legacy of the Irish.
> For more Irish-themed celebrations, take a look at this Complete Guide to St. Patrick’s Day.
The selections are presented in alphabetical order.
Peachtree St. (15th St.) , Atlanta, GA
The city of Atlanta has long had a close relationship with all things Irish.
The festivities draw out a whomping 80,000 spectators. The parade will feature floats, bands of every kind, military units, Bagpipe & Drum Corps, Irish dancers, clowns, high tech firefighting equipment, police units, drill teams, dignitaries from Ireland and more. The Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade begins at noon at Peachtree Street near the High Museum of Art in Midtown.
Broadway, Boston, MA
Go green at the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Considering Boston has more Irish pubs than any other city in the United States, it should be no surprise that Beantown celebrated the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade ever back in 1737. The parade kicks off at 1 p.m. from Broadway Station.
E Balbo Ave. (S Columbus Dr.), Chicago, IL
Join the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago for a perfectly Irish celebration.
This year marks the 65th annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade. Revelers meet at noon on the corner of Columbus and Balbo. Following a citywide search for “Chicago’s Fairest Colleen,” the winner of the St. Patrick’s Day Queen Contest will lead the parade riding in a horse-drawn carriage. As always, participants can watch the river turn an incredible shade of green. The best viewing is from the upper level bridges at Michigan Avenue or Columbus Drive.
Superior Ave. (E 18th St.), Cleveland, OH
Revel in festivities at the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Approximately 10,000 people participate in bands, floats, drill teams, marching units and novelties in Cleveland’s popular parade. Beginning on Superior Ave. at E. 18th St., this parade will end at the intersection of Rockwell Ave. and Ontario St. The action starts precisely at 1:04 p.m. so don’t miss it!
Rue du Fort (St. Catherine St.), Montréal, Canada
Celebrate this holiday at the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Canada.
The oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Canada, held annually since 1824, Montreal’s three-hour parade begins at noon with a giant replica of St. Patrick himself, which proceeds down St Catherine St. from Rue du Fort to Metcalfe St.
5th Ave. (44th St.), New York, NY
Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at the world’s largest parade.
The largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world, New York’s edition has been marching the streets since 1762. There are approximately 150,000 participants and some 2 million spectators. Marching up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th Streets, the parade kicks off at 11 a.m.
New Orleans, LA
Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day the Big Easy way.
Who wouldn’t want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans? Revel in the parades, block parties and live music, including Parasol’s Block Party Celebration, the Irish Channel Parade, St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Metairie Road and Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade.
Market St. (Front St.), Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade has existed for centuries.
With a history dating back to 1771, five years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence there, Philadelphia’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade holds hundreds of years of continuous celebration honoring not only the man that became the namesake of this holiday, but also the roots back to the homeland. It is also one of the grandest parades in a city that loves parades.
Fifth Ave. (Laurel St.), San Diego, CA
Become Irish for a day at San Diego St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival.
The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of 5th Avenue and Laurel Street, near Balboa Park, followed by a day of food, beer, music and activities for the whole clan at the Irish Festival.
2nd St. (Market St.), San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration is the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade west of the Mississippi River.
San Francisco’s annual parade starts at 11:30 a.m. at 2nd and Market Streets and proceeds to City Hall along Market Street. A festival in Civic Center Plaza on the same day includes Irish cultural and retail booths, Irish food and beverages, Irish dancing, live music and children’s activities. It is sponsored by the United Irish Societies of San Francisco.