The Best St. Patrick’s Day Parade You’ve Never Heard Of

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“Ain’t no party like a Scranton party, cause a Scranton party don’t stop.”

A quote made famous by Michael Scott on The Office, but when it comes to the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade this statement couldn’t ring more true. Every year thousands of people line the streets of downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania on Parade Day to take part in a tradition that began with the city’s first official St. Patrick’s parade being held in 1862. Despite the large Irish population in Scranton, you might be shocked to know that the city boasts the fourth largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebration in the United States.

Sponsored and organized by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association of Lackawanna County, the parade has more than 12,000 participants, including many bagpipers, Irish stepdancers, high school bands, local musicians, and other Irish groups. The nationally acclaimed parade is always held the weekend before the blessed feast day.

Parade Day always begins with mass held at St. Peter’s Cathedral at 10am, with the parade procession beginning two hours later. Seemingly all of Scranton and the surrounding area fill the streets with a sea of green as the parade commences on Wyoming Avenue near Mulberry Street. The participants wander along the parade route through downtown Scranton and pass the nearly 150,000 spectators, which is why the parade annually ranks in the top three in per capita attendance. Once the parade has wrapped up, Scrantonites hit the local bars and continue the revelry and celebration…often well into the next day.

Having gone to college in nearby Clarks Summit, I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t attend this iconic parade a single time during my years in school. It wasn’t until a few years after I graduated that I had my first Parade Day experience, and since then I now have a deep appreciation for the tradition and pride that the people of Scranton hold for their parade. It truly is one of the best St. Patty’s Day parades in the country. One that I think even Michael Scott would be proud of.

Which United States city hold your favorite St. Patrick’s Day Parade?


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A look at the Scranton St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and lesser known parades in the United States. Click for more info or pin for later!