The Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the longest running parades in history. Starting in 1771, the St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association now hosts the annual parade. Over 200 groups are represented during the parade including youth groups, marching bands, dancers, and Irish associations all in celebration of Saint Patrick and his work.
16th St. and JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Morning Mass At Saint Patrick’s Church
This year’s parade takes place on March 13, 2016, the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day, which is actually on Thursday, March 17. For folks heading to Center City Philadelphia, you can expect a day full of events that will highlight the religious and cultural aspects of Irish traditions.
The morning of the parade starts with a Commemorative Parade Mass at Saint Patrick’s Church on 20th and Locust Streets. It will be preceded by the Emerald Society Pike Band during a procession of the Grand Marshal and Board members. This mass is open to the public and begins at 9:00 a.m.
St. Paddy’s Day Parade Route
Following the morning mass, the full spectacle of the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 12:00 p.m. Parade participants will begin their proud march at 16th and John F Kennedy Boulevard. Spectators lining up on the Ben Franklin Parkway can expect to see an array of colorful and entertaining displays of Irish Pride. The official parade route travels down Ben Franklin Parkway toward the Philadelphia Art Museum, where the event will disband around 4:00 pm.
It wouldn’t be a celebration if folks attending the parade, Irish and non-Irish, did not head out to Center City Philadelphia in style. Most attendants arrive in Irish-style clothing in order to add to the enjoyment of the festivities.
Transit & Daylight Savings Time
If you are planning on making a full day of fun, it’s important to note many pubs and venues in Center City and Old City will have continuous St. Paddy’s Day events. Philadelphia has transit assistance to assure safe travels for folks heading in and out of the city. A few transit options include SEPTA, and Amtrak. It is a good idea to map out your transportation ahead of time so that you can get to your destination without issue.
Lastly, while you’re planning your St. Patrick’s Day daily activities, keep in mind that the parade lands on daylight savings. That means setting your clocks one hour ahead in order to enjoy the parade and other events on time.
Amber Gibbs is a Philadelphia native and self-proclaimed dreamer who spends her days as a traffic reporter. She enjoys writing about sports, gaming news and other fun happenings around the tri-state area.