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As the nation's capital Washington DC likes to be seen to lead
the way when it comes to the big celebrations, and St Patrick's Day
is no exception. You will find bigger and older parades elsewhere,
but fewer cities embrace the festivities with as much gusto as DC,
where crowds in the tens of thousands will turn out to watch the St
Patrick's parade. Participants include marching bands, military
units, dance schools and floats from a number od organisations.
The DC event has been taking place each year since 1971 and they have the benefit of one of the most iconic locations, using the wide sweeping lanes of Constitution Avenue to great effect as the parade travels past the cheering crowds, with each parade group also getting the opportunity to perform for the parade judges.
St Patrick's weekend is also the time the marathon comes to Washington DC, so if you're a fitness fanatic, or even just looking for another spectator activity while you're in town then this is a good time for you. Previously known as the National Marathon, this event has now been rebranded as the Rock n Roll USA marathon and also includes a 5k and half marathon for those who don't feel up to the full 26 miles. The races get underway at 7.30am on the Saturday before the St Pat's parade.
The parade route for St Patrick's Day in Washington DC is one of
the easiest to describe, as it stays on a single street! The parade
is down the iconic wide lanes of Constitution Avenue, travelling
from 7th Street to 17th Street. The parade steps off at 12 noon and
last for around 3 hours.
There is grandstand seating available on the route; the stands are located in the area between 15th and 16th Streets. Tickets for the stands are $15 each and you need to apply in advance; you can buy online here:
Parade Grandstand tickets
We haven't at this stage been able to locate any national or even
local coverage of this year's St Patrick's day parade in Washington
DC. This does seem a little surprising so we'll keep our eyes peeled
for any updates. If you do find any TV or radio stations offering
coverage of the parade or surrounding events then please let us know
using the form below.
If you are desperate to see some live action however then one option you might consider is to check out some of the local webcam views; the parade route is fortunate to have several live traffic cams positioned along the way, so you can check out as the parade passes the various points; there are cameras on Constitution Avenue at 9th, 12th, 15th and 17th Streets, the latter being right by where the parade ends; you can check out the webcam views here, you'll just need to zoom into the map and click on the relevant points:
Constitution Avenue webcams
There is also some excellent coverage of previous parades on the ever-reliable Youtube, so you can get an idea of what the event is all about:
DC St Patrick's Parade videos
If you are heading to Washington DC around the time of the St Patrick's Day parade then you'll find plenty of accommodation to choose from, although be aware it does tend towards the pricet side. You can search and check availability for local hotels here.
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