By Joel FurchesWhile many use St. Paddy’s Day as an excuse to booze it up, March 17 is truly a celebration of Irish culture and heritage. Baltimore is home to a rich Irish culture, stretching back to the early days when the city was young and Irish immigrants flooded in. These immigrants became the backbone of the working class and a driving force behind the success of the B&O Railroad system. In appreciation of this heritage, Charm City does its best to honor its deep Irish roots with a number of events being held on Saint Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
699 Washington Place
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 962-5070
www.irishparade.netDate: Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 2 p.m.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a proud and longstanding Baltimore tradition. This year, the parade will be held on the Sunday preceding St. Patrick’s Day. At 2 p.m. that day, come down to Baltimore along with thousands of others and enjoy a rare and beautiful spectacle. Starting at Baltimore’s Washington Monument and then proceeding down Charles Street, watch as thousands of marchers parade past with the full display of Irish culture, dress and tradition. Listen to the live music hailing back to the early sounds of the old country. As the music plays, you will have the rare privilege of witnessing authentic Irish dance. The parade will continue from Charles Street down to Pratt Street, and then to Market Place. Here are some things you’ll want to know about this day and event:

ParkingWith the St. Patrick’s Day Parade being such a large and popular event, it’s only natural to assume that parking is going to be an issue. Fortunately for attenders, the Parade Commission has partnered up with an online parking service called Parking Panda. With this service, you may make your parking reservations online ahead of time. Once you have made your reservation, you will receive a parking pass for one of the parking lots or garages surrounding the event. The sooner you reserve, the better your spot is likely to be. Once you reserve, your pass can be printed. But if you don’t have a printer, don’t worry: you can present the ticket from your smart phone, and still receive your service.

Pub CrawlOne way to get into the Irish spirit before the parade is to participate in an Irish Pub Crawl before the actual event. Fortunately for you, has prepared an extensive package for just this occasion. On the Saturday night before the event, check in at the registration location, which may be found on the website, and receive your packet. This includes a wrist-band informing everyone that you are part of the festivities, and a map of the locations covered by the crawl. You’ll get special deals at every participating location you visit. There really is no better focal point for Irish culture than the pub. In addition to sampling favored beverages of Ireland, you’ll have the opportunity to sample Irish food and see live music and performances at these locations.

Related:  Best Irish Pubs In Baltimore

Irish EatsOne excellent way to celebrate St. Paddy’s is to indulge in some of the gastronomical fair from the old country. On the day of the parade, the festivities start out at 2 p.m., however if you show up early you will be able to catch brunch before you hit the parade. The best place to do this would be Mick O’Shea’s Irish Pub , which holds its Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. until 3 in the afternoon. Alternative locations for good Irish food near the parade route would include Tír na nÓg Irish Bar & Grill in the Inner Harbor. In fact, if you show up to Tir na nOg the night before the parade, Saturday, you will be treated to an authentic Irish band before you eat. You could also visit Slainte, which may have some of the most authentic Irish food in Baltimore.

Irish MassIrish culture is deeply religious. The Parade taking place on a Sunday, The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary cooperates each year with two official pre-parade Masses. One of these will install the Parade officiates. The second, held on the morning of Parade Day, will be a full Catholic Mass with all of the pomp and tradition associated therewith. To truly immerse yourself culture of the Irish, there is little better way than to experience a full Irish Catholic ceremony.

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