St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! Looking for an exciting way to celebrate the Emerald Isle this year? You’re in luck! Northern New Jersey is home to a large Irish population that definitely knows how to party. Follow the rainbow to your pot of gold with these awesome events.
Branding itself “New Jersey’s oldest and finest parade”, the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a North Jersey institution. This time-honored event will be held on a Friday afternoon, so it’s possible to attend this parade as well as your local town parade later on in the weekend. Over 100 bands, community groups, and civic organizations are scheduled to march in this 81st annual parade, attracting thousands of revelers to downtown Newark. The Newark Parade is part of Newark’s Irish Heritage Week, an annual celebration of—you guessed it—all things Irish.
Mention the Parade and receive a discount for certain festivities.
When: Friday, March 11, 2016
Where: The parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. outside of the Prudential Center on Mulberry Street and end at Washington Park.
This parade is a bit newer than some of Northern New Jersey’s other parades; nonetheless, it offers tons of fun for the residents who attend. Now in its 13th year, the Sussex County Parade designates a charity every year. This year’s recipient is the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, chosen by the Grand Marshal of the Parade (Timothy Thomas Dunnigan). Enjoy the sights and sounds of Newton’s own resident leprechaun (pictured) as you give to a great cause (donations optional). Plus: free sweet treats for the kids.
When: Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 11:30 am
Where: The parade will progress down Spring Street in Newton, NJ, starting at the corner of Spring Street and East Stewart Street, and ending at Memory Park.
Don’t let the quaint Main Street setting fool you: the West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade offers much of the pomp and circumstance of larger city parades. It attracts bands and performers from all around the state. Local Girl Scout troops as well as the fire department and police department will also march proudly in this 65th annual Parade. Grandstands will be set up near the Community House and Degnan House along the route, though there is room to stand down the length of Main Street. Stop by one of West Orange’s pubs right on Main Street after the parade.
When: Sunday, March 13, 2016
Where: The parade will begin at 12:15 pm on the corner of Main Street and Mount Pleasant Avenue. It will progress down Main Street, ending at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
For an authentic Irish experience, attend Celtic Fire at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood. The event features Irish step dancers accompanying Michael Londra, one of the world’s most talented Irish singers. Celtic Fire will have you up on your feet as it transports you on your very own Irish journey. Ticket prices vary from $15 to $39. Call the Bergen Performing Arts Center at 201-227-1030 for more information. Families are welcome.
When: Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Where: Bergen Performing Arts Center, 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ, 07631
The Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a big deal, but this year, it’s extra special. The Grand Marshal will be John P. Hyland, who had been selected as the Grand Marshal of last year’s parade. His battle with cancer prevented him from attending, but he is now in much better health and “honored” to lead his hometown’s parade this year. Pre-parade events include a Special Olympics event entitled “Chalking of the Shamrocks”. Though the pre-parade events began in 2012, this parade has been running for 36 years.
When: Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 10:30 am at The Green (pre-parade activities) and 12:00 pm (the official parade start)
Where: The parade will begin at the Morristown Town Hall (200 South Street) and end at the Morristown High School parking lot. Consult the parade route map, if needed.
Celebrating 20 years in 2016, the Union County St. Patrick's Day events kick off this year at 9am with The Thornstick Mass at St. Patrick's Church in Elizabeth, followed by festivities at noon, including the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum, and a Kids Zone. The parade steps off at 1pm at Morris Ave. along Commerce and Jeanette Avenues, and ends at Roosevelt Ave.
When: Saturday, March 12, 2016
Where: For all the action, head to Morris and Stuyvesant Avenues in Union
If your calendar is booked in March but still want to partake in St. Patty's, you actually can! How, you ask? Oddly enough, Ringwood's St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities are on the docket for April this year. Enjoy a traditional Irish mass with the family, followed by breakfast ($20) before the parade.
When: Saturday, April 2, 2016
Where: St. Catherine’s Church (112 Erskine Rd, Ringwood, NJ 07456); Parade will step off at 1pm at the TD Bank North access road on Skyline Drive
Plus: For the Kids
As everyone is well aware, St. Patrick’s Day can get a little rowdy (cough, Hoboken, cough). For a child-friendly excursion, take a drive down to the Young Chefs Academy in Morganville (Monmouth County). Kids will get creative during the 2-hour cooking class where they'll whip up their own Irish Nachos bursting with toppings and tasty Shepherd’s Pie. Call 732-536-7777 to schedule a reservation.
When: Sunday, March 13, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: 712 Ginesi Drive, Suite 7, Morganville, NJ, 07751
Which parade or event are you attending? Share your photos with us on Facebook and Twitter!