St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York CityCheer up, the greens are on the march! Take your shamrock and be prepared to join.
New York City is mostly associated with 50 hundreds shades of grey (concrete jungle and stuff) rather than with the color of green. There is a day, however, when the Big Apple shimmers all varieties of green, from kelly to bottle. It's St. Patrick's Day, and it's gone to waste for you unless you attend the grand parade.
The easiest way to join the green madness is to line the streets of 5th Avenue. You just stand there and watch numerous bands and teams passing by. Probably the funniest way to spend the day, even though it might seem quite tiring to stand on foot for several hours.
Another, much more comfortable way to observe the action is sitting at grandstands - but to get tickets there is quite challenging (close to impossible). Basically, you cannot buy any tickets - only request them, and whether or not you get any... god knows. NB: those at grandstands are asked not to wear any green hats, beads or other "costumes". You are going to greet dignitaries or governments officials, so please look properly (and behave yourself).
Thirdly, you can march. But be aware, most bands do not allow anyone interfere in their rows. Anyway, you can check prior to the event whether you are anyhow connected with any organization affiliated - and maybe you will be asked to be in the parade!
And finally, if you are a couch potato or appear to stay out of NYC on St. Patrick's Day, you can always watch the Fifth Avenue getting green on TV or online. God save the internet.
Overall, there are normally up to 150,000 participants marching in the parade and more than 2 million spectators cheering them up on their way down the street. The vision is spectacular, and so is the atmosphere. So please do not ruin it by getting drunk. You can very well do it after the parade, joining the pub crawl (true Irish style). But when the city is on the march, any alcohol is a no-no. The other rule is to leave your pets at home (unless they are service ones).
Done with the rules. It's St. Patrick's Day, so let's celebrate it - rain or shine!
What: St. Patrick's Day Parade
Where: Manhattan, New York City
Route: Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street
When: March 17 (unless it falls on Sunday, then the parade is moved to Saturday)
11 a.m. - ~5 p.m.