St. Patrick’s Day: A New Orleans Tradition?

St. Patrick’s Day has been recognized all over the country since 1737, but no place celebrates it quite like Louisiana. On March 17th every year, you’re treated to yet another great opportunity for fun, music, and New Orleans’ most famous form of celebration: parades.

St. Patrick’s Day History

Of course, the New Orleans celebration of the Irish Saint Patrick owes a lot to the original Irish Christians who brought the day with them to the United States. With the festive day taking place in the middle of the restrictive Lenten period since the early 17th century, religious observers were quick to take advantage with a time of lavish feasts and lots of alcohol. From there, it’s easy to tell where the Americanized tradition of our St. Patrick’s Day began. And the day certainly won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

However, in a state that already celebrates a day like Mardi Gras yearly, how does St. Patrick’s Day stick out? With even more parades!

Plenty of Parades

Although St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally held on March 17th, a number of locations hold their parades on weekends in March which the 17th doesn’t always line up with. This year parade goers will have the options to view the Irish Channel parade on March 11th,  and the St. Bernard Irish Italian Islenos Parade on April 1st. It’s practically harder to ignore the day than celebrate it. For the loud, energetic Irish romps, catch the Downtown Irish Club Parade at the French Quarter on March 17th. For a more family-friendly affair, try the popular St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Metairie Road on March 12th. On the actual feast day, you better prepare for an onslaught of umbrellas, flowers, picnics, and plenty of green from beginning to end.

A Fine Catch

Don’t forget, a New Orleans parade is nothing without plenty of beads. That’s right, St. Patrick’s Day offers another time to shout your best “throw me something, Mister” to dozens of festively-colored floats down streets. However, the Irish feast day also includes a bonus gift of cabbages, carrots, and even potatoes as throwing souvenirs. Stay long enough and you may make your own St. Patrick’s Day feast for yourself! Or simply enjoy the company of friends on a great spring day.

For those who miss the spirit and celebration of Mardi Gras, check out the St. Patrick Day parades to remind yourself that the carnival season never truly goes away.

Schedule:

Mar 11

Irish Channel Parade

Magazine Street 1:30 p.m.

 

Mar 12

St. Patrick’s Parade

Metairie Road 12 noon

 

Slidell’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Slidell 1:00 p.m.

 

Mar 17

Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade

French Quarter 6:00 p.m.

 

Downtown Irish Club Parade

French Quarter 6:00 p.m.

 

Mar 18

Italian-American St. Joseph’s Parade

French Quarter 6:00 p.m.

 

Mar 19

Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade

Metairie 12 noon

 

April 1

St. Bernard Irish Italian Islenos Parade

Chalmette 12 noon

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