New York City is about to get mighty green again as another St. Patrick’s Day approaches. For many city dwellers, Irish or otherwise, the holiday marks the unofficial beginning of springtime — and it couldn’t happen soon enough, after the snowpacalypse that has been this past winter. (And by the way, don’t let today’s mild temperatures fool you; you’ll need a heavy green coat if you’re planning on marching in the parade.)
So as we’ve done in past years, we’ve put together a giant shamrock’s worth of information about celebrating this festive occasion in the Big Apple.
WHEN IS IT?
The holiday will be observed this coming Monday, March 17th.
WHY DO THE IRISH CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK?
He’s the patron saint of Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the country, as well as driving out all the snakes. (If only he could do something about the rats in the subway.)
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.
This year’s 253rd NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts on Monday 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.
WHY ISN’T MAYOR DeBLASIO MARCHING IN THE PARADE?
The Mayor and some other elected officials are boycotting the parade due to the organizers’ longstanding exclusion of openly gay groups from the march. But 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.
WHERE TO DRINK:
Time Out NY has published a list of recommended Paddy’s Day pubs. Check it out here.
To enjoy all the fun of St. Patrick’s Day without the booze, check out the third Annual Sober St. Patrick’s day on Monday at Cathedral High School, 60 East 85th Street. Click here for more information and tickets.
MAY THE LUCK OF THE IRISH BE WITH YE!