New Orleans is always ready to celebrate, and no one throws a party like New Orleans. Enter St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, feted annually on March 17th. Many destinations think their St. Patrick’s day festivities are the largest and best. But the Irish in New Orleans do not relegate this party to one day.
If something is worth celebrating, New Orleans thinks it’s worth doing it BIG. We devote an entire weekend to the wearing of the green — with lots of good food, drinks and parades.
Start at Molly’s at the Market with an old-style, French Quarter walking parade. Register early enough to take part in the procession. Otherwise, as you await carriages and marching groups, step inside for a drink and bite to eat. Probably-already-steamy-weather is perfect for Molly’s popular frozen Irish coffee. You’re in for a treat with their hamburger and fried pickles.
Stay overnight at the Garden District Hotel Collection. Their lovely residences are conveniently close to the action, yet far enough to afford a sound night’s sleep.
Start off slowly with breakfast at District Donuts. Then ease into things with a quiet alk through the Garden District. Can’t wait to return to the fun? Head over to Parasol’s Block Party. They start early and continue well into the night. Remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The Irish Channel parade starts midday at St Mary’s Assumption Church following Mass, travels approximately 5-miles, and ends a few blocks from Parasol’s. Find a good spot to watch and prepare for some unusual throws. Watch the air for beads, cups and toys, but you may catch dinner too. Popular items include carrots, potatoes and cabbages, which should be handed down from floats. However, enthusiastic (and inebriated) riders sometimes lose control and throw food. Don’t believe rumors that you an catch corned beef, but you are likely to receive Moon Pies for dessert.
Enjoy breakfast at Croissant d’Or and a stroll through the French Quarter. Or have beignets at Morning Call and walk around City Park. If you aren’t paraded out, finish your weekend with the Irish-Italian parade. These two cultures, bonded by Catholicism and St Patrick and St Joseph feast days, are only a week apart. The Irish-Italian is similar in format and spirit to the Irish Channel parade, but this one rolls down Veterans Boulevard in nearby Metairie. Kiss a few marchers and take home paper flowers to remember your Irish New Orleans holiday.