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Holiday Happenin's in New Orleans
 

St. Patrick's Day Festivities in New Orleans
March 13-22, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Block Party at Parasols
St. Patrick's Day Parade
Photo by Lance W. Moreland
St. Patrick's Day Block Party at Parasols
St. Patrick's Day Parade
Photo by Lance W. Moreland

It’s a great day for the Irish – and everyone else! – when St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2015) rolls around in the Greater New Orleans area. Colorful parades and parties celebrating the “Auld Sod” make this follow-up to Mardi Gras one of the area’s most fun events of the year.

New Orleans, with a long Irish heritage dating back to the 1840s and 1850s, tops all American cities in celebrating this festive Emerald Isle holiday. Even New York, with its famous St. Patrick’s Day parade up 5th Avenue, can’t compete. Their parade is only one day. In New Orleans the festivities go on for ten days, featuring not one but SIX parades, including two in nearby Jefferson Parish and one through the French Quarter celebrating New Orleans’ equally colorful and storied Italian culture in honor of St. Joseph’s Day. Plus two fabulous, blowout block parties in the aptly-named Irish Channel section of the city.

And where else in the nation can you find parades that pass out all the ingredients for a fabulous Irish stew?

During the largest of the St. Paddy’s Day parades, along Metairie Road in neighboring Metairie, float riders, costumed in customary green garb and green leprechaun derby hats, not only throw beads and other Mardi Gras-style trinkets, they also pass down cabbages, potatoes, carrots, onions, packaged seasonings and other key ingredients.

By the time the parade has passed, if the luck of the Irish is with you, you should have enough of these ingredients to go home and make a traditional Irish stew that can feed your whole family. That’s St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans! HELPFUL HINT: Bring plenty of large, strong bags to carry all those vittles back with you.

Men and women in walking groups from various clubs in the city dress in costumes of green pass out paper flowers, beads and kisses to lucky parade-goers along the route. You may even get a set of beads with green plastic shamrocks. If you do, wear them for the rest of the day. They’ll bring you good luck!

St. Patrick’s Day block parties are some of the biggest outdoor parties of the year in New Orleans. The best of these block parties are held in the street outside Tracey’s and Parasol’s in the Irish Channel on the weekend of March 13-15. Both parties are free and open to the public (see details below).

This Year’s Parades and Parties

  • Friday, March 13: Molly's at the Market Irish Parade - 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 14: Irish Channel Parade - 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 14: Italian-American St. Joseph's Parade in the French Quarter – 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 15: St. Patrick's Day Parade on Metairie Road, Metairie – 12 noon
  • Tuesday, March 17: Downtown Irish Club Parade - 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 22: Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade, Metairie - 12 noon

More Details

Friday, March 13
Molly's at the Market Irish parade – French Quarter - 6 p.m.

Featuring riders in carriages and marching groups, the parade begins and ends at 1107 Decatur Street. The party goes on inside and outside.

Saturday, March 14
Irish Channel Parade – New Orleans - 1 p.m.

The Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club will hold its Annual Mass and Parade celebration at 12:00 noon, at St. Mary's Assumption Church (corner of Constance and Josephine streets) followed by the parade (corner of Felicity and Magazine streets) at 1 p.m.
See parade route

Saturday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 17
Tracey's Block Party - 11 a.m. till...

Annual celebration of St. Paddy’s Day in the Irish Channel - 2604 Magazine Street. Lots of green beer!
See party location

Saturday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 17
Parasol's Block Day Party - 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Annual St. Paddy’s Day celebration in the Irish Channel – Corner of 3rd and Constance streets
See party location

Saturday, March 14
Italian-American St. Joseph's Parade in the French Quarter - 6 p.m.

The Italian American Club’s St. Joseph parade starts at the intersection of Convention Center Blvd. and Girod Street with 16 floats and nine marching bands and proceeds through the French Quarter.
See parade route

Sunday, March 15
St. Patrick's Day Parade on Metairie Road – Metairie -12 noon

The annual Metairie Road St. Patrick's Day Parade will take place from 11 a.m. until around 3 p.m. The parade begins in front of Archbishop Rummel High School on Severn Avenue, goes down Severn to Metairie Road, then up Metairie Road to the Orleans Parish line.
See parade route

Tuesday, March 17
Downtown Irish Club Parade – New Orleans - 6 p.m.

The annual downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade begins on the corner of Burgundy and Piety streets in the city’s Bywater neighborhood, proceeds up Royal Street, across Esplanade to Decatur Street, up Bienville Street to Bourbon Street. The parade makes several "pit stops" on its way to Bourbon.
See parade route

Sunday, March 22
Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade – Metairie - 12 noon

The 2011 Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade will roll at noon along the traditional Veterans Boulevard route in Metairie.
See parade route

Although it is impossible to predict what the weather will be like, mid-March is usually one of the most comfortable times of the year in New Orleans. Temperatures are likely to be at least in the 70s – maybe even low 80s – but probably no lower. You can probably get out there in your shorts and T-shirts but – if at all possible – WEAR GREEN! On St. Paddy’s Day in New Orleans, EVERYONE is Irish for a day.

For more detailed information on all the St. Patrick’s Day events in and around New Orleans, visit www.stpatricksdayneworleans.com.

 
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