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GoNOLA Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

In New Orleans, St. Patrick’s Day is more than just a day — literally. See just how many days this celebration spans with our definitive guide.

Floats line up for the Irish Channel Parade. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

St. Patrick’s Day is more than just a day. It’s a cultural constellation that encompasses many cities and countries around the world, including places with large populations of people of Irish descent — as well as cities with substantial populations of people who just like to drink and make merry.

And in New Orleans, St. Patrick’s Day is also literally more than just a day. Because it’s on a Friday this year, the celebration of the Irish saint — whose clearing of snakes from the Emerald Isle is now commemorated around the globe through green beer and Shepherd’s Pie — will stretch out over two weeks. Here is your guide to St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans:

Lucky lasses and lads might get a flower during the St. Patrick’s Day Parades. Real cabbages are another coveted catch. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Saturday, March 11

Irish Channel Parade

Starts at Jefferson Avenue and Magazine Street, 12:30 p.m.

This year marks the 67th-annual Irish Channel Parade. The parade is preceded by a mass at St. Mary’s Assumption Church, which is located at the Constance and Josephine streets.

Parasol’s roast beef po-boy. (Photo via Flickr user Eating In Translation)

Kicking off at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Magazine Street, the parade runs up Magazine Street, where the revelry continues along Magazine, disbanding at Jackson Avenue and Annunciation Street.

At the same time, two of the most iconic bars in the Irish Channel — Tracey’s and Parasol’s —will be throwing parties. Tracey’s, which is right on Magazine Street, is a great spot to start your post-parade carousing, while just down the street, Parasol’s block party goes late into the night.

What’s better than two parties going at the same time in close proximity? The fact that the parties will happen twice: first on Saturday, March 11 and then again on Friday, March 17, which brings us to week two.

Friday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!)

A sea of green at the Irish Channel Parade. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Parasol’s Block Party

2533 Constance St., 10 a.m.

This encore block party of the previous weekend’s performance boasts the same neighborhood atmosphere with music, drinks (more frozen Irish coffee, perhaps?) and general revelry. Order their roast beef po-boy if you get hungry.

Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club Block Party

Irish Channel, 10 a.m.

As if there wasn’t enough going on in the Irish Channel—and why shouldn’t it be the epicenter of Celtic-inspired festivities—there’s a block party in Annunciation Square that runs all day. Stop by for food, drink, and probably the sound of some bagpipes. All proceeds will benefit St. Michael’s Special School.

Pat O’Brien’s Bar St. Patrick’s Day Party

718 St. Peter St., 10 a.m.

Pre-game for the Downtown Irish Club Parade or Molly’s at the Market Parade at Pat O’s, which will be partying from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.—if you have the stamina! Live music and all-day Irish food and drink specials are an ideal complement to the bar’s iconic stature in the French Quarter.

Tracey’s St. Paddy’s Party

2604 Magazine St., 11 a.m.

Just up 3rd Street from Parasol’s sits Tracey’s, which will also be hosting an encore party for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Downtown Irish Club Parade

Burgundy and Piety Streets, 6 p.m.

The Downtown Irish Club Parade starts on the corner of Burgundy and Piety streets in the Bywater neighborhood, heads up Royal, then across Esplanade to Decatur, and up Canal to Bourbon. In a city that specializes in parades, the Downtown Irish Club Parade is one of the most memorable—and, don’t worry, there are plenty of “pit stops” for all sorts of refreshments.

Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade

1107 Decatur St., 6 p.m.

Molly’s at the Market has the most well-decorated walls of any Irish bar that I’ve ever visited. It also has the best frozen Irish coffee in New Orleans — and that’s in a city where there’s multiple options for said cocktail, including the wonderful concoction at Parasol’s. The parade at Molly’s — complete with marching parades and riders — also puts you in a perfect position to enjoy the French Quarter and its accompanying St. Pat’s revelry. This parade begins and ends at 1107 Decatur St.

Lagniappe

  • One of the best things about these extended St. Patrick’s festivities is that it overlaps with some other special celebrations. The Italian-American Club hosts the St. Joseph’s Parade, which heads out from the intersection of Convention Center Boulevard and Girod Street at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 and goes through the French Quarter. Much like the Irish Channel Parade, there are a lot of people in tuxedos. And there are 16 floats and nine marching parades — what more could you ask for?
  • On March 19, catch one of the best events in New Orleans that also makes a perfect bookend to St. Patrick’s Day — Mardi Gras Indian Super Sunday. Head to A.L. Davis Park (at Washington and LaSalle streets) at noon to see the Indian Chiefs and their pretty feathers and suits.

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