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March 10, 2023

From road closures to weather forecasts, everything you need to know about the St. Patrick's Day Parade

The annual celebration will kick off at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard on Sunday, March 12

Holidays St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day Parade 2023 Joseph Gidjunis/City of Philadelphia

The 251st Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Parade is returning to Center City and Old City on Sunday, March 12 from 11:15 a.m. until 3 p.m. Here's everything you need to know about the holiday festivities.

Get decked out in green and bundle up for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Center City on Sunday, March 12. 

As the second oldest parade of any kind in the United States, Philadelphia's St. Patrick's Day celebration has been held annually since 1771, with a brief pandemic hiatus in 2020 and 2021. Irish Americans have been observing the holiday in the city since they first arrived in America, according to parade organizers. 

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Over the years, the parade's themes have reflected the times and commemorate history and heritage. In 2016, the parade honored the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, which was fought with the aim of establishing an independent Irish Republic while the UK was fighting in World War I. 

This year's theme is "St. Patrick, Let There Be Peace." According to parade organizers, the theme calls for peace in the larger Philadelphia community and throughout the world. 

In addition, the parade is also commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which established Northern Ireland's current system of government and ended a violent period in Irish history known as "The Troubles."

After a special mass at St. Patrick's Church at 20th and Locust streets at 9:15 a.m., the parade will begin at the corner of 16th Street and JFK Boulevard at 11:15 a.m. 

The festivities will be broadcasted live on the CW Philly (Channel 57) from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, and CBS 3 will air a replay of the parade beginning at 9 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day, March 17. This year's hosts include CBS Philadelphia anchors Jim Donovan, Janelle Burrell and Bill Kelly. 

For more information about Sunday's St. Patrick's Day Parade, check out our guide below. 

Weather Forecast

Though much of this weekend is gearing up to be cloudy and rainy, the skies are expected to clear by Sunday morning. The forecast for Philadelphia from the National Weather Service predicts Sunday will be partly sunny with a high of 48 degrees.

However, Sunday does mark the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, so Philadelphia residents should remember to "spring" their clocks forward by one hour before attending or watching the parade. 

Parade Route

The parade begins at the intersection of 16th Street and JFK Boulevard at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday. The route wraps around City Hall and proceeds eastbound on Market Street and through Independence Mall before wrapping up at Penn's Landing at around 3 p.m. 

Performances will be held at Independence Mall at Fifth and Market streets throughout the afternoon. 

Performances and Special Guests

This year's parade includes marching bands, Irish dancers and more than 200 cultural groups. Philadelphia police and fire units will be on site to join the parade festivities along with some local elected officials, including Congressman Brendan Boyle and Councilmember Mark Squilla. 

Performers include Irish dancers from Temple University and Villanova University, Art in Motion Dance Studio, McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance, Cummins School of Irish Dance and Avalon String Band. The full list of performers and participants in the parade can be found here

Parking and Road Closures

All road closures will be in effect only on the day of the parade, largely along the parade route. Each of the road closures should end by late afternoon on Sunday. Check out the full list below. 

From 5:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.:

• Market Street between Sixth and Fifth streets

From 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.:

• JFK Boulevard between 20th and 15th streets 
• 20th Street between Market and Arch streets 
• 19th Street between Market and Arch streets 
• 18th Street between Market and Arch streets 
• 17th Street between Market and Arch streets 
• 16th Street between Market and Arch streets 
• 15th Street between Market and Arch streets

From 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.: 

• JFK Boulevard between 15th and Juniper streets 
• Juniper Street between JFK Boulevard and Market Street 
• Market Street between Juniper and Second streets 
• All cross streets on Market Street from 13th to Fifth streets between Chestnut and Arch streets

There will be temporary "no parking" zones posted for most of the early morning into the mid-afternoon on Sunday. All parked cars found in the zones during that time will be relocated. Drivers who believe their cars were moved can contact the police district of the area where the cars were parked. The full list is below. 

From 6 a.m. until 3 p.m.:

• 1400-2000 blocks of JFK Boulevard

From 5 a.m. until 3 p.m.: 

• Fifth Street between Chestnut and Market streets 
• Sixth Street between Chestnut and Race streets 
• Race Street between Fifth and Sixth streets 
• Market Street from Juniper to Second streets

SEPTA Routes 2, 4, 5, 12, 16, 17, 21, 23, 25, 27, 31, 32, 33, 38, 42, 44, 45, 47, 47M, 48, 49, 57, 61, 124 and 125 will be detoured from their normal routes in Center City and Old City on Sunday from 5:30 a.m. until about 7:30 p.m. Riders can check the status of their bus online