139th annual Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade returning to Midtown
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Atlanta’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade is preparing for another year.
The 139th Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade will return to Midtown on Saturday, March 11.
Started in 1858 by the Hibernian Benevolent Society, the parade holds the title as the longest-running event in Atlanta history, continuing the tradition of celebrating the city’s Irish culture and history. Annually, hundreds of attendees line the parade route to experience entertainment from across not only the state but the country.
This year, more than 80 units and 2,700 individuals, the largest in recent history, will participate with units ranging from floats, bands, bagpipe and drum corps to children’s groups, Irish dancers, and animal groups. A host of Irish and local dignitaries join in the parade as well, such as Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Irish Consul General Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir and special guest this year from Ireland, Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
This year’s grand marshal is Georgia Tech Football kicker David Shananhan, a native of Castleisland, County Kerry, Ireland and the first from the country to be awarded a scholarship to play American college football.
The parade will begin at noon at the intersection of Peachtree Street and 15th Street and will continue down Peachtree Street to 5th Street, concluding at 1:30 p.m.
Parade attendees are encouraged to take MARTA. Both Arts Center and Midtown MARTA stops provide easy access to the parade route.
Those looking for additional Irish activities can visit the Colony Square Luck of the Square festival, which will begin at 1:00 p.m. just steps away from the beginning of the parade route. The festival will feature live music, beer, food and more.
And just before the parade steps off at noon, The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the official charitable partner of the parade, will host its “Brave the Shave” head-shaving challenge. Sponsored individuals will shave their heads for childhood cancer awareness, a tradition that began on St. Patrick’s Day 20 years ago.
Organizers say participation in the parade is not just an “Irish thing”. Groups are encouraged to participate as long as their unit is appropriate for a “family” event. For an application to participate or to volunteer, click here.
For additional information and updates on the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, click here.
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