Saint Patrick’s Day Preparations Begin for Parades

Large cities such as New York and New Orleans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year with parades. Previous years have been successful for many of the non-profit organizations that run these parades, partially due to the fact that many cities start their parades a few days in advance.

The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has been marching up and down 5th Avenue for over 250 years as one the oldest Irish traditions in the country. From its earliest event in 1762, fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence, this parade has been run solely by dedicated volunteers.

These volunteers help organize the multiple bands and 150,000- 250,000 marchers while about 2 million spectators dressed in green spend the day enjoying the parade. The parade also offers scholarships for families affiliated with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee for high school and college level students.

New Orleans also celebrates this holiday with a loud and energetic parade that goes on for days. This year, the parades and parties began on Friday and end on St. Patrick’s Day itself. Part of what makes it so popular is that each day, the parades and parties move throughout the city and surrounding suburbs to ensure that the large number of residents and visitors can attend. This also makes the parades safer and less crowded.

These parades host a variety of different ways to interact with the spectators. Men and women from groups and organizations from around the city come together to join the parade. Many of them hand out flowers, beads, and kisses to individuals in the crowd as they follow the various routes.

The holidays floats are one of the main attractions of the New Orleans parades. Almost all of the flatbed trucks are designed and put together by the riders themselves, while the other floats are put completed by different organizations. The floats and trucks usually respond to the call, “Throw me something, Mister!” While most will throw the traditional beads and flowers, riders will occasionally throw cabbages, carrots, and even onion. Some will even throw moonpies and potatoes into the crowd.

South Boston also hosts a parade, which works with the Allied War Veteran’s Council. Listed as the second largest parade in the country, this parade brings in a crowd of nearly 600,000 spectators each year. While the parade does begin in the afternoon instead of all day long, the veterans help to make the parade a yearly success for everyone involved.