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St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the Northeast

st. patricks day parade

There’s no better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America than in the Northeast. This area is rich with Irish-American history and eager to pay homage to the Emerald Isle. The best way to revel in Irish culture is to go to one of the Northeast’s famous St. Patrick’s Day parades.

American St. Patrick’s Day parades are about more than St. Patrick himself. They’re about the Irish diaspora and the celebration of Irish-American culture. Whether you’re Irish or not, you’re sure to receive a hundred thousand welcomes at one of these St. Patrick’s Day parades.

New Haven, Conn.

March 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Operating since 1842, the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the oldest parades in the country. 3,000 people march and around 300,000 spectators attend.

The Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade traditionally takes place the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day and twists through the streets of New Haven, from Chapel Street at Sherman Avenue to Orange Street. At the parade, you’ll be able to see historical re-enactors, pipe and drum bands, Irish dancers, an honor guard, marching bands, drill teams, fife and drum corps, floats and vintage cars. The Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade also crowns a parade queen in addition to the traditional grand marshal.

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Newport, R.I.

March 16 at 11 a.m.

Newport loves St. Patrick’s Day. (It even has a sister city – Kinsale – in the Emerald Isle.) Parade organizers hold a Half-Way to St. Patrick’s Day festival every September to raise money for the March extravaganza.

The route of the Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade traces the shoreline, going from Newport City Hall to Saint Augustin’s Church in the Fifth Ward. The parade is populated by pipe bands, local organizations, fife and drum corps, historical re-enactors, clowns, Emerald societies, step dancing students and school music groups.

After the parade, there are several community events. The St. Patrick’s Day Family Celebration, at the Martin Recreation Center, has bagpipers, step dancers, face painting and more. You might even win a prize.

st. patricks day parade
Sailors from the Surface Warfare Officer’s School greet members of the public while marching in the Newport, R.I., St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Photo: U.S. Naval War College / CC BY)

New York City, N.Y.

March 16 at 11 a.m.

The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the oldest civilian parades in the world. It’s been running since 1762 and gets bigger every year. There are usually 150,000 to 250,000 marchers, and around 2 million spectators decked out in green.

The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches north along Fifth Avenue, from 44th to 79th Street. Along the way, it passes by St. Patrick’s Cathedral, named after the very same patron saint of Ireland.

There are no floats in this parade, but there are plenty of marching bands, scores of bagpipes, Irish step dancers and local politicians wearing green ties. The parade is led, as always, by the Irish 69th Infantry Regiment, and includes many Emerald societies – organizations for firefighters and police officers of Irish descent.

You can catch this parade from anywhere along Fifth Avenue. Make sure to get to your spot early, though.

Holyoke, Mass.

March 17 at 11 a.m.

Holyoke goes all-out for St. Patrick’s Day. The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade draws crowds of 400,000 people for a parade that features floats, musical acts and guests of honor like the Grand Marshal, the recipient of the John F. Kennedy National Award and the Grand Colleen.

The day before the parade, you can catch (or even participate in) the Holyoke St. Patrick’s 10K Road Race, the largest race in Western New England with cash prizes. To really get into the spirit, make sure your running gear is green. You can also enjoy their 2 mile walk or kid’s fun run.

South Boston, Mass.

March 17 at 1 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day is actually a legal holiday in Boston (and surrounding Suffolk County), thanks to Evacuation Day, the anniversary of the retreat of 3,000 British troops from Boston during the Revolutionary War. The first observance of St. Patrick’s Day in the Colonies was in Boston in 1737. New York City didn’t catch up until 1762.

The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade snakes around West and East Broadway and ends at Andrew Square. It’s estimated that around 600,000 to 1 million spectators attend.

At the parade, you can expect to see pipe bands from Ireland and the U.S., marching bands, colorful floats and Emerald societies.

Planning on having a few green beers to celebrate? Remember to enjoy responsibly and that buzzed driving is drunk driving. Always have a designated driver or book a ride share.

If you need a place to stay near one of the St. Patrick’s Day parades, you can get a great deal when you book a hotel with AAA.

Shop our Amazon list of St. Patrick’s Day essentials for recipes, music, games and all things green. 

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16 Thoughts on “St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the Northeast

  1. The route for the parade in South Boston mentioned in the article was from the Covid era. The parade now is back to its original route and ends in Andrew Square.

  2. How could you forget Greenwich, Connecticut’s parade? Usually it’s before or after the actual day to avoid conflict with the New York City one – but this year it’s on Sunday, March 17! It begins at Greenwich Town Hall at 2 PM, comes up Field Point Road to West Putnam (US 1), and down Greenwich Avenue. It’s been happening since the 1970s. See you there!

  3. What about the Pearl River, NY St. Patrick’s Day Parade ON 3/17/24 ? It is the 2nd largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the State of New York after the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

  4. It’s 2024 and the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade is ready to go on Sunday! When I was a kid my Dad would take us 3 girls every year in the 50’s.Later on when I had my own kids we would carry on the tradition.I live right over the hill,Mt. Tom,and this parade is a tradition everyone looks forward to.Now,being an old lady I just watch it on tv enjoying the newest generations!!

  5. Voted the most Irish Town in America south of Boston is Scituate, MA directly on the ocean. It is referred to as the “Irish Riviera”. Besides the Irish Mossing Museum, there is a memorial for the sister City pact it has with West Cork, Ireland right on the harbor front. The Scituate St. Patty’s Parade is Sunday March 19, 2023 at 1:00.

  6. Shame on AAA for not mentioning the Holyoke St Patrick’s Day parade. The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day parade is a event that has been celebrated for 70 years, with large attendants. I don’t understand how this could have been missed!

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