ATLANTA, GA — In Georgia, St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Savannah get all the attention. But right here in Atlanta, the Irish community will be celebrated on March 17 with a parade that is considered the city’s longest-running tradition.
The Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday on Peachtree Street in Midtown. It will begin at Peachtree and 15th Street, near Woodruff Arts Center, and end at Peachtree and 5th Street — a couple of blocks north of the Fox Theater. (See a map of the parade route here).
Atlanta’s parade was started in 1858 by the city’s Hibernian Benevolent Society, a fraternal organization with both Catholic and Protestant members. As such, organizers say it is Atlanta’s longest-running event and the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country.
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Now run by the nonprofit Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, Inc., the parade features representatives from Irish groups including the Hibernian Benevolent Society, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Clan Na NGael, Fire Emerald Society of Metro Atlanta, the Irish Information Center and the Metro Atlanta Police Emerald Society
Clowns, floats, bands, bagpipe-and-drum copros, dancers, drill teams and more from throughout the South also will be featured in the family-friendly parade. The parade is expected to take about an hour and a half.
For more information on the parade, visit its website.
Location and Parking
Spectators are encouraged to consider taking MARTA to the parade, traveling to either the Midtown or Arts Center station. If you do plan to drive, parking decks will be open at the following locations
Colony Square parking deck on 14th StreetCampanile parking deck on Juniper StreetProscenium parking deck on Crescent StreetPromenade II parking deck on 15th Street
Spectators are urged to arrive no later than 11 a.m. to find a good spot. Blankets and folding chairs are encouraged.
5K Road Race
A 5K road race is set to start before the parade at 10 a.m. It starts and finishes at Colony Square Plaza and runs through Midtown into Piedmont Park, finishing on the parade route.
Online registration for the race closes Thursday, March 13, at midnight. The entry fee is $35 before the day of the race and $40 on the day of the race and $20 for runners 12 and under. All participants will get a t-shirt, finisher prizes and a finish picture.
For more information on the road race,click here.
Photo courtesy Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, Inc.