Luck of the Irish: Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Hannah Erbrick, Arcade Editor

Emma Vaughters | Layout Editor

Need a break from parades? Look elsewhere. Sunday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, which means another weekend full of parades, beads and, this time, cabbage. If you’re caught unprepared, grab a green shirt and keep reading for your guide to the festivities this year.

Legend has it that the iconic St. Patrick himself is lauded for such feats as ridding Ireland of snakes and pagans. As such, he is the patron saint of Ireland, and reverence for his life comes to a peak every year on March 17, the anniversary of his death. While the Feast of St. Patrick originated as a religious holiday, Irish-American immigrants brought the holiday to the United States and transformed it into the secular extravaganza many cities observe today. In fact, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the U.S.

While New Orleans may not have as large of an Irish population as Boston or New York, it still takes the opportunity for a celebration in stride. According to, the first recorded celebration of St. Paddy’s day in New Orleans was in 1806, and the festivities have only grown since then. Those observing can expect to stay busy all weekend.


Naturally, parades are a big part of this celebration, and the first big event kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 in the Irish Channel. The route should be familiar to Tulane students, as it runs down Magazine St., St. Charles Ave. and Louisiana Ave. On Sunday, another parade works its way from the Bywater to the French Quarter beginning at 6 p.m. The parades will include traditional throws like beads and cups, but the coveted catch is the cabbage.

Block Parties

If you’ve had your fill of parades but still want to celebrate St. Paddy’s day, consider stopping by a block party. Parasol’s block party on Saturday is an annual event running from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. complete with music, food and green drinks. Its location in the Irish Channel gives attendees great parade access. Just across the street is Tracey’s, which hosts a similar party starting at 11 a.m.

The time is ripe to boil some cabbage, don some green and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day New Orleans style.

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