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Everything you need to know about Midtown’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Routes, street closures, and everything you need to know about the big day, all here

Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Held On New York's 5th Avenue Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Today’s the day: the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will once again head to Midtown and the Upper East Side as it kicks off its 257th celebration.

More than 150,000 marchers and as many as two million spectators will partake in the festivities along Fifth Avenue, painting the streets green and orange (and passing landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral) while filling the air with the sounds of bagpipes. As of right now, it’s expected to be cold (around 48 degrees) and clear on Saturday, so be sure to bundle up if you decide to head out.

As with any parade, you can expect normal traffic patterns to go out the window and whether you’re looking to head to the parade or navigate your way around it, it’s best to know what’s going down.

Aside from heavy traffic, what can you expect from this year’s parade—or how can you avoid it altogether? Keep reading for all the details.

When is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 17and it’ll broadcast live on NBC New York.

What is the parade route?

It’s a straight shot north on Fifth Avenue: The parade will begin on 44th Street, making its way north and passing the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 50th Street and Fifth Avenue, and wrapping up outside of the American Irish Historical Society on 80th Street.

Who will be at there?

For this year’s parade, co-founder of the Glucksman Ireland House at NYU, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, has been named as Grand Marshal. Glucksman is also the Chair Emeritus of the American Ireland Fund and according to her bio, “a lifelong champion of Irish culture and causes.” You can also expect to see many local officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, to march.

Which streets will be closed during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

Per the city’s Department of Transportation website, the following streets will be closed Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for St. Patrick’s Day Parade as permitted by NYPD:

Formation

  • Vanderbilt Avenue between 43rd Street and 46th Street
  • 43rd Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 44th Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 45th Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 46th Street between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 47th Street between Park Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 48th Street between Park Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 5th Avenue between 42nd Street and 44th Street

Route

  • 5th Avenue between 79th Street and 44th Street

Dispersal

  • 5th Avenue between East 86th Street and 79th Street
  • 78th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 79th Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 80th Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 81st Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 82nd Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 83rd Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 84th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 85th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • Madison Avenue between east 78th Street and East 86th Street

Miscellaneous

  • 62nd Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 63rd Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 64th Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 72nd Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • Madison Avenue between 63rd Street and 64th Street

What about getting around Midtown that day?

As ever, the subway is your best bet for getting to the parade; some of the major subway stops nearby include the Grand Central-42nd St complex (served by the 4, 5, 6, 7, and the Times Square Shuttle), and Lexington Ave-59th Street (4, 5, 6, N, R, and W, along with a connection to the F and Q at 63rd St).

The MTA has announced service changes for the six-hour duration of the parade, including the fact that the 77th St station will have changes to its exits; check the link for the full rundown. Some bus routes will also be detoured. Both will be operating on weekend schedules, but that could mean anything from mildly irregular service to an all-out subway nightmare; best to check the Weekender app before you head out.

There will be additional Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains running; if you’re worried about accidentally ending up on the drunk train, the MTA has banned alcohol on both services for the duration of the parade. (Which isn’t to say that there won’t be sloshed revelers wearing green, but hey, it’s something.)

One thing that’s for sure: Midtown will be a traffic nightmare, so it’s best plan alternate routes if you can. Upper East Siders should also note traffic changes at the parade’s end:

How can I watch the parade from home?

NBC New York will be livestreaming—head here for all the details.