Yes, it’s that time of year again when it seems like everyone in New York City turns Irish. From green costumes to green beer and even green hair, the spirit of the Irish inhabits New Yorkers great and wee. As we run up to the big March 17 holiday, here’s a handy rundown of everything you need to know to get your shamrocks shaking. Erin go Braugh!
WHO IS THIS PATRICK FELLOW?
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to the country, as well as driving out all the snakes.
ST. PADDY’S IN NYC:
The first NYC Irish parade was held on March 17, 1762 — 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. These days, the parade attracts over 200,000 participants and 2 million onlookers.
The Parade starts on Saturday, March 16, at 11:00 AM. It commences at 44th Street and 5th Avenue and marches up 5th past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street, all the way up past the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd Street, ending at 86th Street around 4:30-5:00 PM.
The subway station closest to the parade’s starting point is the Bryant Park stop at 42nd and 6th Avenue, which services the 7, D and F lines on weekends. You can also catch the 4, 5, 6, 7 or S train to Grand Central. If you choose to drive, the Edison ParkFast lot on 44th Street between 5th and 6th couldn’t be any closer. (Keep in mind that street closures will probably go into effect between 9 and 10 AM. and end at around 5:30 PM. Streets gradually re-open as the parade moves along and streets are cleaned.) If you’d rather catch the parade’s finish, take the 4,5,6 train to 86th Street.
BEST VIEWING SPOTS:
To avoid the crowds that pack the sidewalks below 59th Street, go anywhere North of 66th Street and Fifth Avenue.
The upper steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art provide a great view. You can get a close-up view of the marchers at 86th Street where the Parade route ends and the marchers disband and embark to go home or to celebrate.
WHERE TO DRINK:
New York Magazine has published a list of recommended Paddy’s Day pubs. Check it out here.
LGBT New Yorkers (and out-of-town visitors) can check out Next Magazine’s weekly calendar to get a complete list of St. Patrick’s Day parties by clicking here.
To enjoy all the fun of St. Patrick’s Day without the booze, check out the 2nd Annual Sober St. Patrick’s day on Saturday, March 13 at Regis H.S., 60 East 85th Street. Click here for more information.
MAY THE LUCK OF THE IRISH BE WITH YE!