Did You Know?

More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States; New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York in 1762? The celebration began centuries before but it wasn’t until Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City that the parade tradition began. The parade served as a way for Irish soldiers to relish in traditional music and reconnect with their Irish roots with their fellow countrymen serving in the English army.

Irish patriotism began to grow amongst American Irish immigrants and  ‘Irish Aid’ societies started to form. These groups each held their own parades which featured bagpipes and drums. Several groups came together to form a larger parade in 1848 which was the first official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the oldest and largest civilian parade in America. Each year, over 150,000 people participate in the parade while nearly 3 million people attend to watch the procession – which takes more than 5 hours!

Other cities with grand green celebrations are Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Savannah. Each of these parades sees between 10-20 thousand participants.

Are you going to march in or watch a parade?