The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in New York City on March 17, 1762, fourteen years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A small group of Irish New Yorkers marched to the inn of one John Marshall at Mount Pleasant (near the present-day intersection of Barclay and Church streets in lower Manhattan) where the day would be celebrated. Â Â Others say the paradersÂ were Irish soldiers serving in the English military who marched throughÂ New York CityÂ on that day..Â Most likely it was a combination of everyone, the music and parade helping all reconnect with their Irish roots.
Little else is known about that early parade. In years earlier there may have been similar marches and gatherings that have escaped record, but whatever else those solemn revelers accomplished on that late winter’s day close on two and a half centuries ago, they began, or can be credited with beginning, here in New York, an annual celebration which has continued without interruption ever since.Â Â www. spartacus schoolnet.co.uk
On this day, March 17, 2011,Â the parade started at Fifth Avenue and 44th street, pasted St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the gregariousÂ Arch Bishop TimothyÂ Dolan and other members of the clergy, greeted all from the front steps of the Cathedral, then continuedÂ along Central Park to 79th Street near the American Irish Historical Society house.Â www.aihs.orgÂ . Over 2,000,000 spectators lined the sidewalks to watch and cheerÂ the marching bands, Pipe S Drums Corps, County Societies, police, firefighters, and scores of other marchers.
Now, almost 200 years later, there are more Irish living in the greater New York City area than in the city of Dublin and continue to add to the color and fabric that makes it the most diverse city in the world.
St. Patrick’s Day is always celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years. St. Patrick’s Day is a uniquely Irish holiday, and yet it is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other national holiday
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