34th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

Can you believe it's been 34 years since this little St. Patrick's Day parade started? It began as just a few folks marching together to celebrate the Irish heritage. Now it has turned into one of the most beloved island traditions, drawing hundreds of participants and spectators each year.

When and Where?

Date: Saturday, March 17, 2024

Time: Starts at 1:00pm sharp

Location: The starting point is Mile Post 11.5, right at the intersection of Bladen Street and Virginia Dare Trail (better known to locals as the Beach Road).

The Route

In years past, the march would begin all the way north up the Beach Road to Driftwood Street. But this year, they have a shortened route due to some town improvement projects going on.

The participants will gather and start the parade at Bladen and the Beach Road as usual. But instead of turning left onto Driftwood, they will only march as far as Admiral Street, then make a right turn onto South Croatan Highway where the parade will end.

Why the Shortened Route?

The town has got some stormwater drainage work happening up around the 2400 block of the Beach Road. Rather than cancel the beloved event, the ever-creative town leaders devised a modified route to keep the celebration going.

The new ending point at Admiral Street and South Croatan Highway has a handy traffic light. This will make it safer and easier for groups to go their separate ways after the parade which will prevent messy bottlenecks.

Getting Festive with Floats and Costumes

What would the parade be without flashy floats and fancy costumes? We encourage everyone to get as decked-out and festive as possible.

Getting Primed with Food and Drink Beforehand

After all that dancing and parading, revellers work up quite an appetite. So we invite everyone to grab a hearty meal or snack along South Croatan Highway before the parade kicks off.

Several bars and eateries along the highway offer specials on Irish fare. Obviously, you can't celebrate properly without a pint of green beer.

The Festivities Roll On After the Parade

The party doesn't stop when the parade is over. Locals and visitors alike keep celebrating into the late afternoon and evening all along the Beach Road. Restaurants and pubs crank up the Irish music and continue serving specials. Shops stay open late if people want to browse.

Impromptu celebrations tend to spring up - so keep the good times going by dancing along the sidewalks and raising your glasses high.

From the legendary parade floating down Virginia Dare Trail to beer specials flowing at local pubs, get ready to eat, drink, and be merry whether you’re Irish or just “Irish for the day.” Don your sparkly shamrock hats and tacky green beer garb, because these barrier islands really know how to party for St. Patrick’s Day.