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Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Staten Island 3.3.24

Along Staten Island's Forest Avenue on Sunday March 3rd, the streets of West Brighton transformed into a vibrant sea of green, as thousands of residents and visitors alike came together to celebrate Irish culture, community spirit, and a shared love for all things festive. The parade kicked off in grand style, a thoroughfare that became the heartbeat of the day's festivities. Participants and spectators, many clad in green and brandishing Irish flags, created an electric atmosphere of joy and camaraderie. From the young to the old, the energy was infectious, with laughter, music, and dance filling the air.

Members of the Roman Catholic committee are in the forefront of organizing the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. They begin the day with an Irish music-filled mass, followed by a day of festivities hosted by local organizations and small businesses. Esteemed groups such as the Knights of Columbus, local school bands including the talented students from St. Joseph’s by the Sea, the brave members of the FDNY, and even exhilarating motorcyclists took part. Each group brought its unique flair to the procession, showcasing the rich tapestry of Staten Island's community. The parade's anti-life contingent provoked discussions as well, underscoring the event's dynamic character and the community's openness to a range of viewpoints.

The establishments located along Forest Avenue took advantage of the occasion to transform into lively centers of festivities. Live performances transformed ordinary venues into exceptional stages for music and socializing, bringing Northside Coffee and Fresh Kills Barber Shop to life. A combination of timeless emo covers and original songs had everyone singing along during the captivating performances of bands like CATNIP and So Last Summer. Patrick Wakie, one of the singers says, “Many of the businesses along Forest Ave turned their premises into places to socialize and hear live music. Our friends who own Fresh Kills Barbershop did the same. They asked So Last Summer to rock their backyard for the staff and their friends and family, but they welcomed other parade-goers as well.” 

Discussions regarding the LGBTQ+ community's involvement in the march the previous year sparked a more general discussion about inclusion and diversity. This year, the parade that took place on this day was a more traditional take of the holiday but the other parade on actual St. Patrick’s Day was more inclusive and gave the LGBTQ+ community more representation. This is a step toward being a festival open to everyone, regardless of ethnicity or religion.

So Last Summer @solastsummernyc performing at Fresh Kills Barbershop. Amanda (@soulman.da) pictured on far left, Patrick (@wakie_was_here) in center and Zeen (@zeenyc)

Dogs dressed up for the parade

Young child hanging at the backyard of Supreme Burger

The procession was just one part of the celebrations; local restaurants and bars catered to the joyous crowd with special menus and offers. The success of Supreme Burger's burger and free beer promotion showed that a parade attendee's stomach truly is the path to their heart. Check out Rayna’s Eats on Staten Island Locals for a future food review. Joe Hernandez says, “Couldn’t tell if everyone was drinking apple juice or just came out to day drink.” For many it is a tradition to bar hop or bring your own beer on this holiday.

Managing partners at Supreme Burger @supremeburgercompanysi

But the celebrations don't end here. Staten Island geared up for its first Leprecon, a St. Patrick's-themed pub crawl that promised to be as legendary as the parade itself. With the community already buzzing from the parade's success, Leprecon was set to cap off the St. Patrick's Day festivities with a bang, taking place on March 16th. This past holiday season, Santacon on Staten Island was a hit too. The pub crawl was connected by the Staten Island railway and included complimentary food and drink sampling at each location with each ticket starting at $35. It started at Wynwood, then moved to the Hop Shoppe, Cypress Hall , Richmond Republic and ended at District. On the day of the inclusive parade, restaurants like Sally’s Southern participated in a prefix menu and O'neill's the famous Irish pub on the island had their all year round Irish dishes as well.

It's obvious that the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Staten Island is much more than just a parade after all. It's a celebration of the Irish people's enduring spirit, culture, and community. Cheers to many more prosperous, stately, and benevolent years on Staten Island!


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