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The St Patrick's Day parade in Philadelphia has the distinction
of being the second oldest in the entire United States, able to
trace its history way back to 1771! The parade in one of many across
the state of Pennsylvania, reflecting the significant part the Irish
immigrant population played in settling this corner of the USA. Away
from the big event in Philly you will also find significant St
Patrick's Day parades and celebrations in Allentown, Harrisburg,
Williamsport and York.
The Philadelphia parade is one of the most popular in the country however, with an estimated 20,000 actual participants watched by a crowd with estimates varying anywhere form 500,000 up to 1 million. Holding the parade on the weekend prior to St Patrick's Day itself helps draw the crowds as of course far more people have the free time on the Sunday.
The Philadelphia St Patrick's day parade has for many years now been sponsored by the Sugar House Casino, as well as attracting support from many other local businesses. It represents the focal point of the celebrations but the day in no way ends with the parade, as many locals then head on to one of the city's many Irish bars. Among the most popular pre and post-parade watering holes are Duel Piano Bar in Rittenhouse Square and the always popular Tavern on Broad, which is currently designated as the starting point of the Official St. Paddy's Day Bar Crawl!
The parade starts at noon sharp at JFK Plaza, and goes along the
Benjamin Franklin Parkway, past Logan Square, along to the
performance area at Eakins Oval, along Kelly Drive before ending at
You can see a full map of the parade route here:
Parade route map
The official line of march is several pages long so we won't try and recreate it here, but instead point you towards the official download from the parade organiser's website:
Parade line of march
The Philadelphia St Patrick's parade has in previous years been
covered live by the local CBS Philly TV channel, so we'll be keeping
an eye out to see if that is replicated here for this year, and post
any links that we find.
Latest: The 2016 St Patrick's Day parade from Philadelphia will be live on TV thanks to Fox29, which you can also watch as a live online stream here:
Another good idea can be to
check out some of the local webcam views on parade day; there are
several live cameras positioned ay key locations in and around the
If you are in the Philadelphia area for the St Patrick's day celebrations then as expected many of the local hotels, rental apartments and guest houses get very busy, so booking as far in advance as you can is strongly recommended.
You'll find a full range of accommodation to choose from, search and check availability for local hotels here.
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