Get Your Irish on at These 9 Pennsylvania St. Patrick’s Day Parades

A scene from the annual Scranton St. Patrick's Day Parade. (Photo: Flickr)

By Robin Shreeves

March 8, 2023

From Philly to Meadville, cities and small towns throughout the state will celebrate Pennsylvania’s rich Irish heritage this weekend and next.

No other state celebrates St. Patrick’s Day quite like Pennsylvania, and with good reason. St. Patrick is Harrisburg’s patron saint. And Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton, and many other smaller cities and towns have strong historical connections to Ireland and robust Irish-American communities.

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. On or around March 17, anyone can be Irish for the day — or at least for the duration of a parade.

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a weekday (Friday) this year, many parades in Pennsylvania are scheduled for the weekends before and after the holiday. We’re highlighting nine celebrations throughout the state.

Erie – March 11

Hosted by the Knights and Ladies of Saint Patrick, the 2023 Erie St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place Saturday at 2 p.m. 

The parade starts at 10th & State streets and heads north through Perry Square, ending at the St. Patrick’s Church on 4th Street. 

Pittsburgh – March 11

In Pittsburgh, 14% of the population is of Irish heritage, and the city celebrates that heritage with one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, usually attracting upwards of 200,000 spectators. 2023’s Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Saturday starting downtown at 10 a.m. with more than 200 marching units, bands, and floats.

The 1.4-mile parade begins at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street before ending at Commonwealth Place.

Get Your Irish on at These 9 Pennsylvania St. Patrick’s Day Parades
A scene from downtown Pittsburgh during the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. (Photo: Ray Feather Photography)

Scranton – March 11

Scranton’s 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place on Saturday. Ahead of the parade, there’s a 10 a.m. Parade Day Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral. The 3.5-hour parade —  which city officials claim is the second largest in the country, behind only New York City’s annual event — begins at 11:45 a.m. Over 12,000 participants, including multiple bagpipe, high school marching bands, and string bands, march in the parade that’s been an annual event since 1962. 

The route starts at Mulberry Street and Wyoming Avenue and ends at the corner of North Washington and Vine streets.

Levittown – March 11

After a hiatus of several years, the Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns Saturday. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Bristol Township. The parade is one of the oldest events in the county, and it’s followed by an after-parade Hoolie at 1:00 p.m. at the Bristol AOH with live Irish music and a complimentary buffet. 

The route starts at Conwell-Egan and heads to the Levittown American Ball Fields opposite Thornridge Plaza in Falls Township.

York – March 11

The 2023 York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, led by Grand Marshal Reverend Patrick J. “Paddy” Rooney. Before the parade, Irish dancers will perform throughout the city, warming up residents for the main event. (Visit the parade’s Facebook page for details on the dancers.)

The route starts at Market and Penn streets (in front of the Market & Penn Farmers Market), proceeding east on Market to Duke Street.

Philadelphia – March 18 

From noon to 3 p.m. next Saturday the 2023 Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade will make its way down Market Street. The second oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the U.S. (New York City’s is the oldest), Philadelphia first held this parade in 1771. The current parade, hosted by the St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association, was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 1952.

The three-hour parade begins at City Hall before heading down Market Street to Penn’s Landing. Along the way, special stages with music performances and entertainment dot the route.

Get Your Irish on at These 9 Pennsylvania St. Patrick’s Day Parades
A scene from the annual Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Photo: Flickr)

Harrisburg – March 18

The 2023 Harrisburg St. Patrick’s Parade happens next Saturday at 2 p.m., featuring dozens of groups from the local community and across Pennsylvania. Ahead of the parade, runners can take part in the four-mile Lucky Charm Race.

The route starts at Market Street Bridge, continues through 2nd Street, and loops back down Front Street, before finishing on City Island.

Meadville – March 18

In downtown Meadville, the 2023 Jack Curtain St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at noon next Saturday. Before the parade starts, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville will host a Blarney Breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon, and the 12th Annual 5K Judith’s Jig begins at 10 a.m. 

The route starts at Diamond Park and travels down Chestnut Street to the Downtown Mall. Festivities continue at the Mall following the parade with a costume contest, performances, and community spirit awards.

Lower Burrell – March 18

The 3rd Annual Lower Burrell St. Patrick’s Day Parade, also known as the “celebration o’ the green,” starts at 11 a.m next Saturday.

The parade route runs from Stewart Elementary and finishes up at the Hillcrest Plaza parking lot.

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