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

Where to go, when it happens, and how you can watch the parade

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Marches Down New York’s Fifth Avenue Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Today, 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. And the weather is cooperating; it’s going to be around 50 degrees and clear.

One thing to note: The parade will take place on Saturday, March 16, rather than on the holiday itself as is customary when March 17 is a Sunday.

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. 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 16—not the holiday itself, since that falls on a Sunday this year. And as the parade’s website notes, “if the 17th falls on a Sunday, then the Parade is held on Saturday March 16th in order to observe the Sunday Sabbath.”

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 St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 50th Street and Fifth Avenue, and wrapping up outside of the American Irish Historical Society on 80th Street.

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

Per the NYPD, the following streets will be closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

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 43rd Street

Route

  • 5th Avenue between 79th Street and 43rd Street

Dispersal

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

Miscellaneous

  • 49th Street between Madison Avenue and Rockefeller Plaza
  • 50th Street between Madison Avenue and Rockefeller Plaza
  • 51st Street between Madison Avenue and Rockefeller Plaza
  • 58th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 60th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 62nd Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 63rd Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 64th Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 65th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 71st Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 72nd Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 78th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • Madison Avenue between 42nd Street and 86th Street

How will transit be affected?

In recent years, the MTA has instituted an alcohol ban on Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road on the day of the parade, and will do so again in 2019, according to a spokesperson. The ban will start at midnight on Saturday and end at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning.

As far as nearby subway stops go, there’s no shortage close to the start of the parade: Grand Central-42nd Street is the closest big hub, and the Fifth Avenue-53rd Street stop is also along the route. But there will be some changes at stops along the route: Per the MTA, some entrances at the 5th Avenue-59th Street stop on the N/R will be closed, along with some entrances at the 77th Street 6 stop. The MTA’s website has more specific details on other service changes for the weekend.

There will also be extra Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road service on Saturday, and you can find details on the MTA’s website.

Can I watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade without going to Midtown?

Yep! It will air on NBC and WNBC’s website.