When to Catch a Parade in New York City

From St. Patrick's Day to Thanksgiving, Everyone Loves a Parade

New York City hosts parades throughout the year, and while you can catch many of them on TV, there's nothing like experiencing them in person. Here's a list of the best NYC parades to help you include one in your vacation.

  • 01 of 07
    The 245th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade In New York City
    ••• Getty Images/FilmMagic/J. Kempin

    Unlike other NYC parades, there are no vehicles, floats, or balloons in the St. Patrick's Day Parade, but it is often touted as New York City's largest and most popular. More than 150,000 people usually participate in the parade, and nearly 2 million spectators are expected to line the parade route every year.

    • NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade Date: March 17
    • NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade Location: Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th streets
       
  • 02 of 07
    89th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
    ••• Getty Images/FilmMagic/Mireya Acierto

    Probably the most famous New York City parade, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is truly an amazing event to experience in person. The balloons overhead, the marching bands performing, and the celebrity-studded floats traveling down Central Park West make for a memorable only-in-NYC experience.

    • NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade Date: Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
    • NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade Route: Begins at 77th Street and Central Park West; ends at Seventh Avenue and 34th Street
       
  • 03 of 07
    Annual Lunar New Year Parade Held In New York's Chinatown
    ••• Getty Images/Stephanie Keith

    The Lunar Year Parade features elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances galore, Asian musicians, magicians, and acrobats. More than 5,000 people participate in New York City's Lunar New Year Parade.

    • NYC Lunar New Year Parade Date: Sunday after Chinese New Year
    • NYC Lunar New Year Location: Throughout Chinatown along Mott, Canal, and Bayard streets and East Broadway.
       
  • 04 of 07
    2016 Annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade
    ••• Getty Images/Corbis News/Maite H. Mateo

    New York City's only nighttime parade, the Village Halloween Parade, has been a New York City tradition since 1973. The parade features costumed marchers, bands, floats, cars, and life-sized puppets. Anyone in costume can join in the parade, and whether you're participating or just watching, it's a fun and unique way to celebrate Halloween.

    • NYC Halloween Parade Date: Oct. 31
    • NYC Halloween Parade Location: Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 23rd Street
       
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  • 05 of 07
    New York Holds Annual Easter Day Parade On 5th Avenue
    ••• Getty Images/Eric Thayer

    A little more free-form than most NYC Parades, the Annual Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival is a bit of a street festival, where folks donning elaborate Easter bonnets wander along a cordoned-off stretch of Fifth Avenue.

    • NYC Easter Parade Date: Easter Sunday
    • NYC Easter Parade Location: Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Street
       
  • 06 of 07
    Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade Marches Up New York's Fifth Avenue
    ••• Getty Images/Stephanie Keith

    The Puerto Rican Day Parade honors both the 4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and the 4 million residents of the United States who are of Puerto Rican birth and descent.

    • NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade Date: Second Sunday in June
    • NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade Location: Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th Street
  • 07 of 07
    Annual Dance Parade and Festival
    ••• danceparade.org

    Since it began in 2007, the New York Dance Parade has provided both an outlet and a celebration of dance in all forms. The New York Dance Parade represents dance from a wide variety of eras and cultures and concludes with a Dance Fest in Tompkins Square Park.

    • NYC Dance Parade Date: Date varies; on May 19 in 2018
    • NYC Dance Parade Location: Broadway at 21st Street to University Place at 14th Street to St. Mark's Place to Tompkins Square Park