Life Is Too Short Not To Be Irish

There’s a wee bit of Irish in all of us that is worth celebrating.

As one of the top rated destinations in North America for St. Paddy’s day – New Orleans truly leaves its mark on the national festivities, with 10 continuous days of celebrations, as well as laying claim to at least two of the 122 nationally recognized St Patrick’s Day parades. 

Since 1737, every year on Tuesday March 17, Irish immigrants have been getting the crowds all riled up. Boston was the first to host the parade – New Orleans joined in on the festivities in 1809, attracting thousands to the streets for numerous parades and block parties.

As a major port city, New Orleans was the largest entry point for Irish immigrants in the U.S. south. After they landed, many Irish chose to stay on, ultimately establishing the working class neighborhood that is now the historic Irish Channel and ground zero for St. Paddy’s Day festivities.

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The block spanning between two Irish institutions, Parasol’s (corner of Constance and Third streets), and Tracey’s (corner of Third and Magazine streets) has been known to attract up to 6,000 people. Both institutions serve up green beer by the keg load – around 40 kegs each – and a menu that features a home cooked staple – corned beef.

A scattering of Irish bars around the city add to the party; namely the Irish House along St. Charles Avenue – who just finished hosting a Celtic Festival over the February 27 to March 1 weekend – Finn McCool’s in Mid City, and Molly’s at the Market in the French Quarter. Beyond the bars are the parades – many of which coincide with the Italian festivities of St. Joseph Day – which pop up all over the Greater New Orleans area. Amidst the beads and paper flowers, the ingredients for an Irish stew rain down; cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onion and packaged seasoning.


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Dates for this year’s festivities:


Friday, March 13
Molly's at the Market Irish Parade – 6 p.m.

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Saturday, March 14 & Tuesday, March 17
Parasol's Block Party 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Saturday, March 14 & Tuesday, March 17
Tracy's Block Party 11 a.m. – 'til


Saturday, March 14
Irish Channel Parade – 1 p.m.


Saturday, March 14
Italian-American St. Joseph's Parade – 6 p.m.


Sunday, March 15
St. Patrick's Day Parade on Metairie Rd. – Noon


Tuesday, March 17
Downtown Irish Club Parade – 6:00 p.m.


Sunday, March 22
Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade (Metairie) – Noon


Sunday, April 12
St. Bernard Irish-Italian Islenos Parade – 11 a.m.

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