Did you know that the very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in 1762? It’s true, a group of Irish ex-patriots got together in lower Brooklyn. Originally held to afford the Irish the chance to wear green, speak their native tongue and playing Irish music. A true Marchers parade, no floats or automobiles or commercialization is permitted to participate.
Originally organized by military units, after the War of 1812, Irish and fraternal organizations took over the management of the parade. In the mid 1800’s the various groups banded together, creating a grand marshal and greatly expanding the size of the parade. Always led by a military unit, the members of the National Guard’s 69th Regiment has had this honor for 150 years.
Nearly 2 million spectators show up along Fifth Avenue to witness this grand old tradition. The parade officially starts at 11am on March 17th, except when if falls on a Sunday. The parade route takes the participants up 5th Avenue, past St. Patrick’s Cathedral and ends at 86th street, just past the American Irish Historical Society.
But you’ll have to get there pretty early if you want a front row seat. Let Ingenious Travel book you a trip to watch one of the grandest parades New York City holds today.
Did you know that the 2002 parade was the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade and is the only one that was reviewed by Ireland’s President?
Photo source: flickr.com Asterio Tecson- NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade