year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York will be marching
up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick's Cathedral at 50th Street
to the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 83rd Street. More
than 150,000 people from all over the country - and the
Olde Country - march each year.
Fifth Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of New
York City's oldest traditions. The first parade took
place ten years before American independence, when Irish
settlers brought the tradition to the New World and
New York in 1766.
Bit o' History
earliest parades of farmers and military units marched
with no formal backing until after the War of 1812.
that time, the Irish had organized local Irish fraternal
and beneficial societies who took over the organization.
old time parade was a far cry from the modern version.
groups of Irish clans folk and friends would march from
meeting halls on the Lower East Side to Old St. Patrick's
Cathedral in Lower Manhattan on Mott & Prince Streets.
more entertaining? The
parade ... or the spectactors?
first Grand Marshall was elected in 1851 when the Ancient
Order of Hibernians became the official sponsor. This
parade also marked the date that the Irish 69th Regiment,
which was later renamed the 165th Infantry, became the
parade of marchers playing music may have changed a
wee bit since the first ragtag military group celebrated
the Irish in America, but some things never change.
Every March 17, from 11AM - 4PM
Fifth Avenue, fro 44th Street to 86th Street
Viewing: The best spots for
optimum viewing are generally found uptown, away from
the heaviest midtown crowds.
Head further north into the 70's, or climb the steps
of the Metropolitan Museum at 81 Street for a sweeping
vista of Fifth Avenue and the parade as it passes by.
to Get There: By subway, B, D, F, V to 42nd St.
& Bryant Park or the 4, 5 or 6 trains to Grand Central.
Coverage: Traditionally, local NBC Channel 4.
Trivia: While bagpipers, school groups, cops and
fireman still march, the parade has never allowed floats,
cars or commercial groups to take part.