Green-dyed alcoholic beverages, flying produce, bagpipes, kisses from Irishmen – is there anything better than St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans? Irish and New Orleans cultures are one in the same – we value good friends, fun times and strong drinks. So really St. Patrick’s Day is pretty much like any other day in New Orleans but on steroids, and maybe with more green hues than usual. So embrace your inner Celt, throw on a kilt and check out some of the malarkey going down before and during St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans.
1. Parasol’s Block Party – Parasol’s starts the St. Patrick’s festivities two days early at their annual block party in the heart of the Irish Channel at Third and Constance streets. Parasol’s is a local Irish institution known for their neighborhood pub vibe and selection of 30 different po-boys. For the day-long block party from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., their usual Jameson or Smithwick’s-infused camaraderie pours out into the streets along with green beer, food and music.
2. Irish Channel Parade – The main event of St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans is the Irish Channel Parade. Starting at 1 p.m., the procession of clover-adorned floats and jolly ginger-haired men in green tuxedos will make its way down Magazine Street. In addition to green and white flowers and beads, ingredients for an Irish stew are thrown to the crowd, like cabbages, carrots and potatoes. Just be on the lookout – your head will thank you for it.
3. Tracey’s St. Paddy’s Day Party – The most green jello shots per square foot possibly anywhere in the world is at Tracey’s at their March 15 block party and on St. Patrick’s Day. This fact alone paired with the Irish Channel pub’s placement along the parade route and the ensuing ruckus that comes with it makes Tracey’s the best place to watch the parade on Magazine Street. While you’re there, try one of their outstanding po-boy’s, like the Oyster – our personal favorite.
4. Downtown Irish Club Parade – The Irish contingency in New Orleans outside of the Irish Channel is primarily in the Bywater. When a group of Bywater residents 35 years ago discovered they could not be grand marshalls in the Irish Channel parade because of not living within the Irish Channel perimeter, they formed the Downtown Irish Club. The marching parade begins at Piety and Burgundy streets and makes its way through the Marigny and French Quarter, stopping to refuel on Guinness at bars along the way. Plenty of pre-parade partying will be held at Markey’s Bar in the Bywater before the parade commences at 6:00 p.m.
5. Molly’s at the Market Parade – The annual Molly’s at the Market St. Patrick’s Day parade is on Friday, March 16 starting at Molly’s and winding through the French Quarter. In typical New Orleans fashion, spirited marching clubs and bands will be keeping up the momentum and tempo, like the Storyville Stompers and the New Wave Brass Band. Come by before for a pint and to hear The Pogues on the Molly’s jukebox, then grab a to-go cup and follow the parade at 6:00 p.m.!