Get Your Shamrock On

Parades Around the Area Pay Homage to Saint Patrick

Are you looking to truly “March” on this month? Then spend your Saint Patrick’s Day at a local holiday parade this spring break. Since the Irish celebration occurs during our week off, there are numerous parades happening across the state for everyone to partake in.

One of the biggest and perhaps most famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade is in NYC. As a tradition for over 250 years now, the parade is normally held on the actual holiday, March 17, unless it falls on a Sunday. This year, the holiday occurs on a Monday, which is when the parade will be taking place. The procession can be viewed on 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street. The marchers begin at 11 am but it is suggested you get there ahead of time because of crazy crowds.

Nicole Comito, a senior art major, said, “I went to the St. Patricks Parade in the city when I was a senior in high school. I remember it was really crowded, but everyone was dressed up and having a great time. My dad was there, and since he’s a police officer I was able to walk through closed streets to get an awesome view of the parade.”

If you would prefer to miss the madness and watch from home, NBC streams the parade annually.

Another grand parade takes place in Philadelphia. This year, the parade is held the day before the holiday, on Sunday, March 16. Those attending the parade are welcomed to also attend mass at the St. Patricks Church beforehand. Similar to the time span of NY’s, this parade has been around for over 240 years. With a heavy history of Irish settlers in the Philadelphia area, the parade has been quite historic in honoring the heritage. The Parade begins at noon on 16th and JFK Boulevard The CW Philly will cover the parade on TV, so those who want to remain home have the option of viewing the celebration from their couch.

You might be looking to go to a parade on a smaller scale. Thankfully, there are options to avoid mass city parades.

Amanda Enright Unanski, a faculty member in the Chemistry Department, said, “The local parades are fun because they bring organizations and Irish marching bands from all over the state. It’s interesting to see how much Irish pride there is right here in NJ.”

If you are located north of Monmouth, West Orange is holding their 63rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the holiday. Mass is held before the parade which kicks off at 12:15 pm and shuttle busses are available.

In Warren County, Hackettstown puts on a parade on Sunday, March 16 starting 3:30 pm. Known to be the biggest event in the town, according to the Best of NJ website, it features over 70 groups, Irish bands and dancers, organizations within the community, bagpipes, drums, horses, the fire department and rescue squad. A float contest is also part of this parade.

Morristown, NJ will be holding their annual parade on Saturday, March 15 at 1 pm near the corner of South and James Street. There will also be a mass prior to the parade at 10 am at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. An estimated 70,000 people will be in attendance.

Located more central in the state, Trenton holds its ceremony on March 16. The march begins at 1 pm and an after party at Rho Waterfront Restaurant is available to participants with no cover charge and free appetizers.

Also with the same date and start time as Trenton’s parade is the Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade had its debut in 1986. It was created by the owner of the Circle Tavern in Brigantine and a bartender at Surfside in Margate.

Whether you’re seeking a huge or small St. Patty’s celebration, the NJ region has options.

No matter what your location will be this spring break, NJ natives can be sure to enjoy St. Patty’s day by attending at least one parade.

Take advantage of having the entire week off by attending events in honor of the Irish culture and Saint Patrick.