search cityguideny

New York's 255th St. Patrick's Day Parade

February 17, 2016 - by City Guide
Print Article Email Article

Thirteen percent of New York traces its heritage to the Emerald Island, but on Thursday, March 17th, 2016 everyone in the city will be Irish for a day. NYC’s main event is the St. Patrick's Day Parade, which marches up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th Street, covering midtown to the Upper East Side. Legendary peacemaker Senator George J. Mitchell will serve as Grand Marshal for the 255th version of the parade, which features bagpipes, bands, and dancers among its 150,000 marchers.

st patricks day parade bagpipes nyc

The parade is led by the historic Fighting 69th, a New York State militia regiment made up of 1,000 Irish-American volunteers, which first served in America's Civil War at the Battle of Bull Run. The Fighting 69th helped bridge the gap between Irish settlers and the rest of America through shared sacrifice. The regiment went on to serve the U.S. in later wars. Now veterans of the regiment and their descendants hold the honor of leading the St. Patrick's Day Parade. 

As the procession moves up Fifth, thousands of well-wishers of all backgrounds cheer on the marchers. At selected spots along the route, 32 large banners add to the sea of green. These banners depict the emblems of the 32 Irish counties and are sponsored by various Emerald Societies and New York delegations of Irish descendants.

The 2016 version of the St. Patrick's Day Parade may see less controversy compared to recent marches, as the organizers have invited a second LGBT group to participate, adding to the groundbreaking invite of a first LGBT group in 2015. Mayor Bill de Blasio did not attend the 2014 and 2015 parades, but he will march in 2016 now that the parade has become more inclusive.

At Fifth Avenue and 86th Street, the procession turns right and marches east on 86th Street, where it ends at about 4:30-5pm. Many of the marchers and participants move on to various Irish pubs, taverns, and restaurants around Manhattan. Check our roundup for some great ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2016 in New York City.

Looking for Free Group Planning Services?

Get free advice on planning your group's trip to New York.

Where is Your Group Coming From?
Type of Group:
Date of Trip:
Areas of Interest: Sightseeing Dining Theater Culture

Shopping Transportation

Group Size:

Enter the code: 5666


Vida Verde Photos

Vida Verde

Vida Verde brings the tastes, colors, sounds, and scents of ...


Chicago Photos


Kander and Ebb's "musical vaudeville" in which Roxie Hart ga...


Nintendo NY Photos

Nintendo NY

A premier destination for family entertainment....


New York Water Taxi Photos

New York Water Taxi

Hop aboard these environmentally friendly twin-hulled catama...


search cityguideny


life sucks city guide cover

This Week in New York City

(6/12-6/19) Looking for what to do in New York? We've got the latest on all the goings-on in NYC this week, from concerts to museum exhibitions to comedy to the best in city sightseeing. Read on for our picks for the best of this week in New York City. click here

This Week in New York City