Officially March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans becomes a week-and-a-half of festivities and fun. Count on parades and legendary block parties that involve all sorts of merriment – because having one of anything just won’t do in New Orleans.
One of the best places to be for St. Paddy’s Day is Parasol’s Bar in the Irish Channel, a neighborhood named originally for its heavy concentration of Irish families. Located near the Garden District, this all-day street party is only ten minutes from Downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter and definitely worth the trip. You’ll find the entire block packed with people overflowing out of this tiny neighborhood fixture. But never fear, even with the large crowds there is more than enough green beer to go around, not to mention a great deal of local flavor and even more colorful characters.
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day rolls down the lower section of Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue. Marchers and riders in the parade will have plenty of green beads and doubloons to throw, along with the makings of Irish stew (minus the beef). So watch for onions, potatoes, heads of cabbage and carrots flying through the air. Tuxedo-clad marchers hand out paper flowers in exchange for a kiss on the hand or cheek. Make sure you wear something green – with so many parade-goers, the law of St. Paddy’s day attire is strictly enforced, so if you don’t follow it, you may just get pinched!
There is also a block party located at Annunciation Square, near Chippewa and Race streets. You’ll find plenty of Irish music and dancers, food from local restaurants, arts and crafts booths, wine and beer. Off-street parking is available. All proceeds go to benefit St. Michael’s Special School.
You can also check out a number of other block parties as well as special events at Irish pubs throughout the city.