Local St. Patrick’s Day Parades and Pub Crawls

Saint Patrick’s Day is a unique day when people nationwide all of the sudden finds their Irish roots. Unlike the traditional holidays, there may not be much gift giv­ing but instead there is still a need to celebrate. Every year, March 17 marks the day when America gets painted green. Practically every­where one turns, they can spot Irish flags, green attire, lepre­chaun accessories and numerous “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirts run­ning around the town.

Junior communication major, Mike Migliaro, reveals that he will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by “being Irish for the day with my fraternity brothers.” In his opinion, college students “can still celebrate the holiday while on a budget by staying close to home.”

If you are planning to go out on the town to honor the day, it is almost certain you are bound to find an event celebrating this March holiday. Both local and major cities plan events beginning in the early weeks of March to the end of the month to honor and cel­ebrate this day.

Depending on who you are, you may view St. Patrick’s Day fall­ing right in the beginning of our spring break lucky. This coinci­dence makes a great opportunity to explore different St. Patrick Day events happening in the tri-state area.

One of the most famed St. Pat­rick’s Day Parade happens an hour north in New York City. The city will be entering its 251st year of hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Parade making it the oldest city in the na­tion to do so. Saturday, March 16 marks the date NYC will be host­ing its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Dr. Helen O’Brien of the Uni­veristy’s Social Work School is the daughter of Irish immigrants and has close ties to the holiday as well as NYC.

“I have attended many St. Pat­rick’s Day Parades both in NY and in Ireland since childhood. We always met many, many peo­ple who enjoyed the lively and fun loving spirit of the day and of course everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day!” O’Brien said.

Although O’Brien is very fond of the traditional parade, she is opposed to one of its elements. “Gay & lesbian folks are still not permitted to openly march and that casts a shadow over a day that celebrates the spirit of the Irish; that undeniable Irish way of laughing, singing, and enjoy­ing family and friends even in the midst of hardship – which are ex­periences we all share no matter who we love.”

O’Brien also notes that homo­sexuals are allowed to participate in the Ireland parades, and there St. Paddy’s Day is considered a catholic holiday.

One person who will be in at­tendance at the NYC parade is freshman communication major, Carly Lubsen.

“St. Paddy’s Day is the best, every year my friends and I hop on the train to the city to see the parade. It is a fun tradition for us that we look forward to every year,” Lubsen said.

The parade will begin at ap­proximately 11:00 in the morning on Forty-fourth Street and will continue marching its way down Fifth Avenue. It is suggested to arrive a few hours early as large crowds will be expected. From personal experience, the north end of the parade has the best viewing spots if you want to avoid the crowds that swarm the side­walks below Fifty-ninth. The pa­rade concludes at Seventy-ninth, around 2:00 pm or 3:00.

With more than 150,000 partici­pants marching in the parade and more than 2 million spectators lining Fifth Avenue, the St. Pat­rick’s Day Parade in NYC is billed as the largest parade in the coun­try. All participants are on foot; there are no floats, no motorized vehicles, and no balloons. Every year the parade is televised live in a four-hour broadcast on NBC 4 New York.

Once the parade is over and you want to keep the celebration go­ing, the question now is where to go next? If a bar or pub is not real­ly your scene and are looking for more of family atmosphere, head over to Regis High School on 60 East Eighty-Fifth Street for the second annual alcohol-free party, “Sober St. Patrick’s Day.”

On March 16 from 3-6 pm, spectators can enjoy participation of celebrities from the arts, world-class musicians, as well as danc­ers and senior Irish politicians. Light food and soft drinks will be served and tickets are only $12.

For those who are looking for the party scene, grab some friends and head over to Hoboken, NJ. Hoboken is a trendy, urban area only a 15 minute car ride from the city that will be hosting a three-day St. Paddy’s Day bar crawl the 15 to the 17. Numerous bars are participating in this fun event ranging from downtown to west Hoboken.

Some of the bars include Room 84 on Washington Street and Green Rock Tap & Grill on Hud­son Street. One day or three day tickets can be purchased at bar­ and prices range from $10 to $15.

If the city or Hoboken is not in your proximity, Philadelphia will also be entertaining crowds this weekend. While the city has already held their parade, Phila­delphia’s annual pub crawl on Saturday, March 16 will last all day from 11:00 am to 2:00 am on Sunday. While all the bars taking part in the pub crawl are obliged to open at 11:00 am, they do close at different hours.

For example, Tavern on Broad Street will be open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm with a ticket price of $15, but as previously mentioned not all pubs will be in correspond­ing hours.

Philadelphia holds a plethora of Irish pubs, two of the best known being McFadden’s and Fado’s. Lo­cated on 461 North Third Street, McFadden’s always brings in a large crowd. If you wish to feel a definite Irish vibe, go to Fado’s which is located on 1500 Locust Street.

If you prefer avoiding the city, there are still some parades taking place at the beloved Jersey Shore. On March 16 at 1:00 pm, Atlan­tic City will host their St. Paddy’s Day parade where marchers will travel all the way along the board­walk.

You could also travel a little farther south to North Wildwood where the town will be have its annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebra­tion and Parade beginning at noon and will proceed north on Atlantic Avenue.

The following weekend on March 23, Atlantic Highlands will continue to be in the St. Paddy’s Day spirit with their own parade starting at 2:00 pm at Huddy Park.

Whether you bar hop or spec­tate a parade, St. Patrick’s Day is a fun-filled holiday for all. Enjoy the day and do not forget to do it in Irish style.