nyc st patrick's day parade

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray marches in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While you may have the luck of the Irish on your side, without a little planning and foresight, your day of celebrating could become a bit overwhelming. Here’s our guide to enjoying the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and all that the city has to offer:

The Basics

Spectators cheer as marchers walk past during the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York on March 17, 2015. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Start Time: 11 a.m.

Start Location: 44th Street and 5th Avenue

End Location: 79th Street and 5th Avenue

The parade marches up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street and ends at 79th Street at approximately 4:30 p.m.

According to official parade rules, no pets (with the exception of service dogs) or mascots are permitted along the parade route. And if you’re looking to dress up for the occasion, keep in mind that beads and hats are NOT permitted if you’re planning to stand in the official reviewing stands on 62nd Street.

Limerick native Michael J. Dowling, President & CEO of Northwell Health, will serve as the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.

More: Official NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Website

Getting There

(Credit: Marta Zielinska/CBS New York)

There are several parking garages in Midtown, but on parade day, public transportation is a much better option.

Driving: During parade times, street traffic will be rerouted away from 5th Avenue between 44th and 79th Streets, so be prepared for traffic detours in the surrounding area if you’re driving.

More: MTA, LIRR, Metro-North Schedules And Street Closures

Street closures are as follows:

  • 5th Avenue between 42nd Street and 86th Street
  • Madison Avenue between 63rd Street and 64th Street
  • Madison Ave between 78th Street and 86th Street
  • Vanderbilt Avenue between 43rd Street and 46th Street
  • 43rd Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 44th Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 45th Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 46th Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 47th Street between Park Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 48th Street between Park Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 62nd Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue
  • 63rd Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue
  • 64th Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 72nd Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 78th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 79th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 80th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 81st Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 82nd Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 83rd Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 84th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 85th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue

From the Hudson Valley, Westchester County and Connecticut:  Ride Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central Station. It’s an easy walk west from Grand Central to the parade route, starting at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street. Metro-North will offer an extra train departing from Poughkeepsie at 7:52 a.m. and stop at New Hamburg at 8:02 a.m. and Beacon at 8:10 a.m. It will then run express to Harlem 125th Street and arrive at Grand Central Terminal at 9:32 a.m.

From Long Island: Take the LIRR to Penn Station. It’s about a 20-minute walk to the start of the parade from Penn Station, or you can take the F, V, B or D trains for service along Sixth Ave.

The Long Island Rail Road will be offering six extra westbound trains on Friday morning, arriving at Penn Station between 9:27 a.m. and 11:19 a.m. on the Babylon, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches.Ten additional eastbound trains will leave from Penn Station between 1:50 p.m. and 3:49 p.m on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington, Far Rockaway and Ronkonkoma branches.

If you’re looking to start your St. Patrick’s Day buzz early, it’s important to note that both Metro-North Railroad and the LIRR have alcohol bans in place on the day of the parade.

Where To Watch

Spectators watch marchers walking past during the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York on March 17, 2015. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

To avoid the crowds, stand anywhere north of 66th Street and Fifth Avenue, but you can get a good view of the parade anywhere along the route. The upper steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art provide a great view. You can also get a close-up view of the marchers at 79th Street where the parade route ends.

Official Viewing Stands: The entrance to the official viewing stands is located on 62nd Street and 5th Avenue. Admission to the viewing stands will only be granted to ticket holders. Also, keep in mind that if you leave the grandstand area for any reason, you need to have your ticket on you in order to re-enter.

More: Where To Get St. Patrick’s Day Attire In NYC

Nearby Restaurants & Bars

Doc Watson’s
1490 Second Avenue between 77th and 78th streets

This Irish pub sits three avenues from the parade route. Hopefully, you’ll get lucky on St. Patrick’s Day and get to enjoy some warm weather with your meal by sitting outside in their garden. You’ll also find a pool table, darts, and great live traditional Irish music on Sunday nights.

1071 Fifth Avenue at 88th Street

Located a few blocks from the end of the route, you’ll find a chic European restaurant known as The Wright. Its modern motif and American menu is sure to fulfill your appetite on this busy day. It is also located right outside of the Guggenhiem Museum.

Maggie’s Place
21 E. 47th St. (Madison Ave.)

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional Irish breakfast at Maggie’s Place. You’ll find this Irish restaurant just a few blocks from the beginning of the parade route. It is a small, family-owned business, which is refreshing in such a big city.

Rockefeller Center

Along Fifth Avenue between 49th and 51st streets, there are plenty of tourist hot spots to grab food or just snacks. There are several sleek restaurants, plus options for eating on a budget and delis to stop at.

More: Best St. Patrick’s Day Parties in NYC | NYC’s Best Corned Beef and Cabbage

Tips And Tricks

A man arrives to watch the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York on March 17, 2015. ( JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Check to get the latest information on public transportation in New York City.

Bathrooms. There are no porta-potties set up along the parade route. However, there are public bathrooms in Bryant Park, only two blocks from the beginning of the parade and in Central Park near the 59th Street entrance on the West Side. Otherwise, be observant of restaurants and hotels, especially if you are standing in more northern areas of the parade route.

Make sure to hold your child’s hand. The streets will be busy, so stick together. You’ll need to walk fast and maneuver to keep up with the event.

Pack snacks. New York City certainly can be expensive, so packing snacks will help your budget. If you’re looking to buy food on-site, we recommend venturing into Central Park for some easy-to-carry options.

Alcohol. Public drinking of alcohol is strictly forbidden during the parade. Anyone found drinking can be ticketed and police will confiscate all alcoholic beverages.

Comments (4)
  1. Macdonal Mac says:

    Kiss Me, I’m Irish” :* :* :*
    Get your T-shirt Here :

  2. Terry says:

    Another year trying to watch the parade from home. Forget about it
    at one point she says love this music. THEN SHE WENT TO A COMMERCIAL>
    HORRIBLE. If you can’t get to watch in person. Dont bother watching on TV>

  3. T. M. Sullivan says:

    Lets give Emperor Bloomberg a real Boooooooooooooooooo ing
    for his too common drunk Irish comments ,He lost my Irish vote.
    Also ,Chris Quinn, Who????

  4. Lucky Charms says:

    Im listening to Mayor Bloomberg’s advice….Stay safe indoors if you can…

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