On March 17, 1737, Boston was the first North American city to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a parade, bringing the Irish festival across the Atlantic. Celebrations served as a gesture of solidarity among the city’s new Irish immigrants.
The emerald, green holiday honors the Patron Saint of Ireland, one of the world’s most renowned saints to this day. The Roman Britain St. Patrick was captured by Irish pirates at about age 14 to tend sheep. During his captivity he turned to God to ease his fear and guide his soul, eventually composing a memoir about his 6 years in captivity and how faith held him through. This eventually catapulted the then 20-year-old newly freed St. Patrick into priesthood.
The proximity of St. Patrick’s Day and Evacuation Day, when British troops evacuated Boston during the American Revolutionary war, turned the annual holiday into a celebration of American and Irish milestones and legends.
The South Boston St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day Parade
The parades began on March 17, 1737 in a different region of Boston and eventually moved to the current location in South Boston starting in 1901, due to the proliferating Irish community in the area! The parade always takes place on the Sunday in closest proximity to the actual holiday on March 17.
When is the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade this year?
This year’s parade is Sunday March 19, 2023 at 1 PM! It starts at Broadway Station in Southie and finishes at Andrew Square! Along the nearly mile long route, expect to enjoy the sounds of Scottish bagpipes, enjoy presenters in classic Irish apparel, delight with the moves of tap dancers, and march along wearing your best green outfit! Below is a nifty map of the parade route:
Find the annual Southie St.Patricks/Evacuation Day Parade at Broadway Station on March 19, 2023