Officially March 17, St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans becomes a week-and-a-half of festivities and fun. Count on three parades and two 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 not to worry, 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 flavorful 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 and, also toss the makings of Irish stew minus the bee. So onions, potatoes, heads of cabbage and carrots fly 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 and 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. Show up and 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. Check the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club website at www.irishchannelno.org for more information on locations, times, and dates for the parade and block party.
You can also check out a number of other block parties as well as special events at Irish pubs throughout the city.