St. Louis certainly likes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Each year, the city has two parades in honor of Ireland's patron saint. The annual parade in downtown St. Louis features marching bands, floats, giant balloons and more. It's one of the most popular events of the year in downtown, often drawing crowds of more than 200,000 people.
For information on the city's other St. Pat's parade, check out my Insider's Guide to the Dogtown St. Patrick's Day Parade.
When and Where
The downtown parade is held on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick's Day. In 2017, the parade is on Saturday, March 11, at noon. The parade begins at Market and 20th Streets, then makes its way east on Market. It ends at Broadway and Clark Street near Ballpark Village.
What You'll See
The downtown parade is a family-friendly event filled with floats, giant balloons, marching bands, clowns and more. More than 120 different units participate in the parade, making it one of the biggest in the city each year. Kids can collect candy and souvenirs thrown along the parade route. After the parade, everyone is invited to the Irish Village at Ballpark Village to continue the celebration.
See pictures of the Downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The Irish Village
The parade is just part of the St. Patrick's Day celebration in downtown St. Louis. There are also festivities for the whole family beginning at 9 a.m., at the Irish Village at Ballpark Village.
You can can buy food, drinks and a variety of Irish merchandise. There's also entertainment and live music.
Another option is the Shamrock Village, which is new for 2017. The Shamrock Village is located Aloe Plaza across from Union Station, near the start of the parade route. It's an Irish-themed entertainment area with food, whiskey and live entertainment.
It will be open before, during and after the parade.
Where to Park
Organizers say parking areas closest to the parade route will be inaccessible for much of the day. But here are some options to try: S&H Parking Lot at 400 Poplar, Stadium East Garage at 200 South Broadway or Stadium West Garage at 100 South 9th Street. As is the case with all major celebrations in downtown St. Louis, the earlier you arrive, the better your parking options.
Metrolink is another option for those who don't want to deal with parking headaches. There are nearby Metrolink stops at the Civic Center, Busch Stadium and 8th and Pine. A one-ride ticket is $2.50.
Other Ways to Celebrate
Large crowds will also make their way to Dogtown (the city's Irish neighborhood) on March 17 for the annual Ancient Order of Hibernians Parade. To get all the details on how to join in the fun, see my Insider's Guide to the Dogtown St. Patrick's Day Parade. And when the parades are over, there will still be time to celebrate at McGurks, O'Connell's or one of the other top Irish Pubs and Restaurants in St. Louis.