St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC Is the Largest in the World

St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC 2015

New York City has the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world, even bigger than Dublin. Our parade is also the oldest in the world, as the first proud group marched in 1762, 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. It was easy for me to get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day this year because I just hosted a video for BBC Travel about the secret the world of Irish dance in New York City. I met two Irish dance groups that put a distinctly modern spin on traditional Irish step dancing. One group melds traditional Irish step dancing with modern dance, the other with street-inspired breakdancing and Hip Hop. The cultural diversity of NYC never ceases to amaze me.

So as I’ve been thinking a lot about the vibrant Irish culture in New York, and I decided to take my four-year-old son to the parade this afternoon. The last the I watched the St.Patrick’s Day Parade in person was 2009. He really enjoyed the bagpipes and the drums. The child next to us was decked out in a full traditional costume including a sporran for his kilt (rented for this occasion), but my son spread his own Irish cheer in his bright green down jacket. We enjoyed watching the different groups march down Fifth Avenue. At the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City is that other cultures march in their own traditional costumes, like Japan, Spain and Brittany, France, reflecting the melting pot that is New York. But what really got me was the Emerald Society of the FDNY. A lot of New York’s Bravest are of Irish descent and they’re very proud about it! Here’s a video of them marching:

Shortly after the Emerald Society came the US Veterans. Watching the flags wave on this very windy day was quite moving. Perhaps it’s not what first comes to mind when you think of St. Patrick’s Day, but it was one of my favorite moments of today’s parade.

Have you ever been to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC? Or any other city?

18 Responses to St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC Is the Largest in the World

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) March 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    That sounds like an awesome parade. I was in NYC for the Thanksgiving Day parade and it was PACKED.

  2. becca March 18, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    wow what a wonderful parade that was. I would love to see a parade in NYC.
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  3. Courtney March 18, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    I would love to see that in person some time. Looks like a blast!
    Courtney recently posted..Chopped Thai Salad.

  4. maria @ closetohome March 18, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    I grew up in Chicago so we had our share of ST Patrick day festivties. I have never been to a NYC pararde.

  5. Vanessa March 18, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Growing up in NYC it was one of the many parades I enjoyed going too. Its so awesome and to see the people having such a great time.
    Vanessa recently posted..Kids Room Decor – Monogram Wall Art

  6. Lorane March 18, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    I heard about this on the Wendy Williams Show just yesterday. I’m not really that into Prades but I sure would love to see an Irish Parade
    Lorane recently posted..#PayAttention Finds a New Home

  7. Saidah Washington (@ApronsStilletos) March 19, 2015 at 12:41 am #

    I grew up in NYC and never went to this parade. When NY does it they do it big

  8. Liz Mays March 19, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    I saw this once with my sister and it was so cool. I can’t wait to go back to NYC!
    Liz Mays recently posted..Mardi Gras Universal Studios Orlando

  9. Jess Weaver March 19, 2015 at 1:33 am #

    I have never been to New York. This looks like great parade celebration!

  10. Christina March 19, 2015 at 2:53 am #

    This is definitely one of those bucket list items. Looks like it would be a great time!
    Christina recently posted..Spring and Easter Style for Dogs and Dog Moms

  11. Debbie Denny March 19, 2015 at 3:33 am #

    I was in Chicago years ago, We just dont have parades around us for St Paddy’s Day.

  12. Mei March 19, 2015 at 4:11 am #

    Looks fun! My assistant’s husband sells kilts for a living. I bet these guys bought some from them :)
    Mei recently posted..The website and shop checklist to double your sales

  13. Rosey March 19, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    NYC does know how to do parades! I’d love to go to this one sometime.

  14. Mama to 5 BLessings March 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    That is awesome. That would be really neat to see up close!

  15. Mstraveltipsy March 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    St. Patrick’s Day in New York is just great, been there about 5 times I think and 2 years ago I even walked in the parade :)
    Mstraveltipsy recently posted..Travel is not always picture perfect – baksidene ved reising

  16. Ashley @irishred02 March 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Being part Irish I just love this! I hope one day to get to be there in person!
    Ashley @irishred02 recently posted..Looking at Body Image from the Inside Out

  17. Janeane Davis March 20, 2015 at 12:05 am #

    I was not aware that the largest parade of this kind was in NY, but it does make sense.
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  18. Debbie L. March 20, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    We love parades. We watched the St Patty’s parade in Milwaukee. I would love to see St Patty’s parade in NYC!!
    Debbie L. recently posted..Barking Wednesday ~ Spading or neutering – Why is it so important?

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