Every year the District of Columbia holds an annual parade in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. While the parade does not always actually fall on St. Patrick’s Day (which is March 17), it is still recognized as the city’s primary St. Patrick’s Day-themed attraction. From traveling to the parade and knowing where to find the best seating available for watching the procession, you’re going to want to know all the details. Here’s your guide to this year’s parade along with information on other local St. Patrick’s Day-related happenings taking place throughout the day and into the following week.
Constitution Avenue and 7th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
Date: Sunday, March 12 at 12 p.m.
The parade originally started out as a much smaller event, but over the years it’s grown into a citywide family-friendly cultural celebration. Now carrying on a tradition 46 years in the making, D.C.’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held this year on Sunday, March 12, between noon and 3 p.m. The procession will take to its traditional route along Constitution Ave., heading from 7th to 17th Streets, N.W. As always, hundreds of community groups, bands, floats, dancers, performers and notable people will be included in the mix.
This year’s parade theme will be “Irish in Public Service.” A tribute to Honorees, there will be plenty of police, firefighters and other servicemen participating in this year’s parade festivities. The 2017 Grand Marshall will be Cody Keenan, the Director of Speech Writing for the White House. Division Marshalls will include Susan M. Hoffman, Ralph Day and John McShane. The Parade Gael will be President of FedNet Keith Carney.
The parade’s straightforward route makes viewing the procession both convenient and accessible from several different vantage points. While there are plenty of great street locations, many spectators consider grandstand seating to be the best way to go. Grandstands are located between 15th and 16th Streets, right next to the judges’ reviewing stands. Here you can enjoy all the sights and sounds of the parade, complete with comfortable seating and easy access to restrooms.
It is strongly advised that spectators travel via public transportation, as parking is limited to just a select number of garages. The most direct way to the parade route is by taking the metro to the Archives-Navy Memorial stop on Yellow/Green, or the Smithsonian or Federal Triangle stops on Orange/Blue. Grandstands can be accessed via I-395 from the south, I-495 from the north, I-66 or Routes 50 and 20 from the west and Route 50 from the east. It’s always best to arrive for the event early.
There’s a lot to cram into D.C.’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, but that’s not the only thing in store for the day’s follies. Several local area restaurants and pubs will be holding special parties, family entertainment and performances of song, music and dance in conjunction with the parade. The popular Shamrock Fest at RFK Stadium will be held the day before the parade on Saturday, March 11, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will also be many pub crawl events at various area bars leading into St. Patrick’s Day weekend. And as always, St. Patrick’s Cathedral will hold its annual Solemnity of St. Patrick on March 17, complete with traditional Irish hymns.