The Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade
The St. Patrick's Day Parade is a quintessential celebration of Irish-American identity. On Monday, March 17, 2014, thousands of marchers will parade up Fifth Avenue in a display of the vibrancy and vitality that is Irish culture. This culture is a special component of the diversity that is the essence of New York and America. In many ways, the parade is a celebration for all Americans.
The annual parade for St. Patrick in New York City is in its 253rd year. As it has for many years, it begins at Fifth Ave. & 44th St. at 11am. It marches north along Fifth Ave., led by the historic Fighting 69th. The Fighting 69th is a New York State militia regiment, made up of 1,000 Irish-American volunteers, that first served in America's Civil War at the Battle of Bull Run. The contributions of the Fighting 69th helped bridge the gap between Irish settlers and the rest of the American community by sharing common sacrifices and goals. The regiment went on to serve the U.S. in later wars. Now veterans of the regiment and their descendants hold the esteemed honor of leading the parade.
As the procession moves up Fifth Ave., thousands of well-wishers of all backgrounds cheer on the marchers. At selected spots along the route, there are 32 large green banners. These banners depict the emblems of the 32 Irish counties and are sponsored by the various Emerald Societies and delegations of Irish descendants.
At Fifth Ave. and 86th St., the procession turns right and marches east on 86th St., where it ends at about 4:30-5pm. Many of the marchers and participants move on to the various Irish pubs, taverns, and restaurants around Manhattan.