Raleigh's St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival
Wow. I had no idea Raleigh had such a love affair with St. Patrick's Day. Usually DH and I are, unfortunately, out of town for St. Patrick's Day. But this year I was around and tagged along with some friends to the Raleigh St. Patrick's Day celebration. It was amazingly large and Irish-tastic. I am so glad I went, especially since this Scottish gal really loves this holiday.
Raleigh gets packed at this annual event. For 30 years now it has been going strong and each time it gets bigger. Pile on gorgeous weather this particular year and you have a downtown festivus miracle (wait, wrong holiday).
The parade itself was big (no Chapel Hill/Carrboro Christmas Parade, but still..). It lasted over 2 hours and the floats and paraders kept coming. There were Irish dancers, marching bands, and lots of bagpipes. The Shriners had mini-Mac trucks and there were, of course, martial arts demonstrations. It was really fun! Although they didn't throw stuff at the crowd as much as I like (we want beads and tshirts!) it was really cool to see a bunch of local "celebrities."
We watched the parade from a spot right off of Moore Square and, while crowded, it really wasn't ridiculous. We still had a great vantage point even being a few rows back, had Moore Square and vendors available, and also had some ground to spread our picnic blanket on.
Raleigh puts a bunch of port-a-johns brought in just for the festivities in one corner of Moore Square but it was still a wait to get some tp love. So, again, plan ahead. Good news was that the port-a-johns were really clean and brand new.
Take a cooler. While the street vendors are totally great and fun they aren't the cheapest either and you are certainly permitted to bring a cooler and enjoy your own spread while taking in the festivities.
I can't wait to go again next year and will really plan to spend the entire day. Just be prepared to deal with the crowds and Slainte!
Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade
Annually on a Saturday around St. Patrick's Day