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    St. Patrick's Day in New York

    Featured Resource

    St. Patricks' Day Photo Gallery


    This 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.

    The 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.

    A Bit o' History

    The earliest parades of farmers and military units marched with no formal backing until after the War of 1812.

    By that time, the Irish had organized local Irish fraternal and beneficial societies who took over the organization.

    The old time parade was a far cry from the modern version.

    Small 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.

    St. Patrick's Day Parade spectators
    What's more entertaining? The
    parade ... or the spectactors?
    You decide.


    The 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 lead marchers.

    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.

    When: Every March 17, from 11AM - 4PM

    Where: Fifth Avenue, fro 44th Street to 86th Street

    Best 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.

    How to Get There: By subway, B, D, F, V to 42nd St. & Bryant Park or the 4, 5 or 6 trains to Grand Central.

    Television Coverage: Traditionally, local NBC Channel 4.

    Parade Trivia: While bagpipers, school groups, cops and fireman still march, the parade has never allowed floats, cars or commercial groups to take part.

    More about the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade around the Web:
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