Your Guide to St. Patrick’s Day 2012

Joanna Adduci

Editor of Features

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, students of St. John’s University have the opportunity to become involved in numerous activities including the annual parade in Manhattan, which has celebrated Irish culture and Catholicism for 250 years.St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, will be celebrated in an assortment of ways throughout the five boroughs of NYC. Most known for their morning grandeur, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade has graced the streets of Midtown Manhattan since 1762.

Beginning at 11 a.m., the parade will include the NYC police department, FDNY, Governor Andrew Cuomo, the US Army, US Navy, veterans of war and many other renowned officials. As the world’s largest parade on St. Patrick’s Day, New Yorkers join together for a show that lasts about five hours,
embracing and honoring Irish American leaders.

Beginning on 44th Street at 11:00 am, the parade members march up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street all the way past the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd Street to 86th Street where the parade finishes at 5:00 p.m. St. John’s University will be marching past 46th Street and 5th Avenue at approximately 12:45 p.m. represented by the University’s Gaelic Society. It has long been a great honor to participate in such a rooted tradition through the streets of Manhattan.

Tourists come from all over the country to witness Manhattan draped in shades of green and orange, dressing in kilts and shamrocks. “I came with my family from California to see this. It’s a great way to appreciate our culture,” Katherine of San Bruno, CA told me last year. “It makes me proud to see our religion celebrated in such a large way.”

Over the course of an hour, St. John’s students who participated the 2011 parade encountered visitors from all over the United States, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and many more. “Every time I come, I am amazed at the way this country celebrates this beautiful holiday,” said Anne of Cork, Ireland. “I could cry!” Anne and her husband have attended the parade for the last six years, and hope to continue the yearly trip to Manhattan.

The parade is easily accessible by taking the nearby E or F train to the Rockefeller Center stop. For the best view, it is recommended to watch north of 66th Street and Fifth Avenue. After the parade, there are an
assortment of celebratory parties and cultural events to attend for St. John’s students. The St. Patrick’s Parade Gala, at Pier Sixty, begins at 7 p.m. and includes a festive firework show.

Black 47, a renowned NYC based Celtic band, will be playing live at B.B. King’s in Times Square at 7 p.m.,
followed by Rolling Stones karaoke at 11:30 p.m. For students of age, the world’s largest St. Patty’s Day pub-crawl takes place- 3 days, 5 miles, more than 100 pubs. Tickets range from $10-$40, and include amazing drink specials within the pub-crawl premises.

If you’re looking for something less expensive, try one of New York City’s oldest pubs, such as
McSorley’’s Old Ale House or Molly’s Pub & Restaurant. Many are complete with sawdust on the floor and wood-burning fireplaces, to set the atmosphere to that of a traditional saloon in Ireland.

If the weather is appropriate, try Doc Watson’s on the Upper East Side, where there’s a garden outside for dinner and drinks. Whether you’re participating in the 250th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade for fun or to celebrate your own Irish American heritage, there is truly something for everyone on this upcoming Saturday.

Dress in shades of green and orange, paint your face, wander through the crowd observing traditional and modern forms of cultural representation and enjoy the world’s oldest and grandest St. Patrick’s Day parade, taking place throughout the streets of NYC.