Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshal Seann Kirst with family, friends and people that have been subjects in his columns., March 12, 2022. Photo by Mike Greenlar | The Central Current.

A sea of green, white, and orange will flood Syracuse’s streets in celebration of Irish heritage influence this weekend.

The 41st St. Patrick’s Parade is scheduled to be held downtown Saturday with the procession beginning at noon. The theme of the parade is “Running Through Tipperary,” which celebrates the West Side’s densely populated Irish community, Tipperary Hill.

It’s also a nod to the Shamrock Run, an annual race held to raise money for the Irish-identified residents of Tipperary Hill.

This year’s Grand Marshal is Eileen Murray and Gael of the Year is Ralph Rotella. 

Murray is the founder of the Shamrock Run and will be honored for her contributions within the Tipperary Hill community.

A great majority of Irish settlers arrived during the An Gorta Mor, the great famine, that occurred in the 1840s in Ireland. The famine led many Irish to flee their homelands due to starvation imposed by the British.

Janet Higgins, president of the Syracuse St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee, has been involved with the parade for four decades, and looks forward to it each year.

“My favorite thing at the parade, and I say the same thing every year, is the smiles on the little kids’ faces as they walk by the reviewing stand,” Higgins said, “Kids get so excited to be in the parade and to just be apart of something really big.”

She adds their excitement and joy brings out the inner child in her.

Aside from walking in the parade, guests will be able to enjoy a variety of Irish-centered entertainment such as music, step-dancing, bag pipers, and have a chance to support the committees funding of the St.Patrick’s Day Hunger Project.

Afterward the parade, guests are invited to a hooley, an Irish party filled with traditional music and dance.

As the community is recovering after the global pandemic, Higgins anticipates up to 30,000 parade guests if the weather permits. However, she notes attendance is usually dependent on weather conditions.

Higgins assures participants who can’t attend in person have the opportunity to watch the parade on Channel 9.

St. Patrick’s events to place on your calendar:

  • 2023 Grand Marshal Gala
  • The Landmark Theatre is hosting the Green Beer Tour, purchase tickets here
  • Traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner
  • St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl: purchase tickets here


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