The St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of New York City's greatest traditions. On this day, everyone is Irish! The annual procession marches up past Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick's Cathedral at 50th Street all the way up past the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 83rd Street.
The first parade in NYC took place in 1766 when Irishmen from the evolutionary War brought the tradition to our New World. The military units continued to march each year until after the War of 1812 when local Irish fraternal and beneficial societies began sponsoring it.
In those days, the parade was quite small, marching from their meeting halls to Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in Lower Manhattan on Mott & Prince Streets (which is still there!). By 1851, the groups had banded together, nominating a Grand Marshall and increasing the size of the parade. This was when the Irish 69th Regiment (now the 165th Infantry) became the lead marchers and the Ancient Order of Hibernians became the official sponsor.
To this day, the St. Patrick's Day Parade remains true to its roots by not allowing floats, automobiles and other commercial aspects in. Marching is what you'll see. Great bands, be they bagpipes or an entire orchestra, over 150,000 people from all over the country and the world march each year.
This is a great parade for all to come out and experience. Everyone is welcome!