The 2013 Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival begins on Saturday March 16 at noon. Come join Atlanta and 25.000 others as they celebrate the Irish Heritage with free music, dancing, and entertainment.
This years Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade route will start at Peachtree St. and Ralph McGill Blvd. It will then travel down Peacthree St. to Underground Atlanta where the St. Patrick’s Festival takes place.
Other entertainment along the parade route will feature Stormtroopers, clowns, fire engines, classic cars, drum corps, police units, dignitaries from Ireland, dogs, the Anheuser Busch Clydesdale’s. Thousands of children will line the streets to collect balloons and Irish beads that are handed out by participants of the St. Patrick’s Parade.
The Atlanta Tradition began here 158 years ago and is a story that deserves to be told. Atlanta supported the Hibernian Benevolent Society St Patrick’s Day Parade because it was a tribute to Father Thomas O’Reilly and the Hibernian Rifles. Father O’Reilly came from Dublin, becoming the pastor of Atlanta’s first church in 1861. During the Civil War he took care of both Union and Confederate soldiers that were wounded.
General Sherman and the Union Army planned the famous “March To The Sea” burning down everything along the way. Father O’Reilly informed General Sherman that a group of men known as The Hibernian Rifles stood to defend their churches. He went on to state “If you burn the Catholic church, all Catholics in the Union army will mutiny; and if not, they will be excommunicated.” Father O’Reilly also asked Sherman to spare City Hall and the Court House due to the close proximity of his church. As a direct result, Union troops under General Sherman spared not only City Hall and the Court House but also Immaculate Conception, Central Presbyterian, St. Phillip’s Episcopal, Second Baptist and Trinity Methodist.
Since then the Saint Patrick’s Parade has grown enormously attracting not only Irish but other immigrant groups as well. It’s one Atlanta Event that seems to get bigger and better every year. The city has long ties to the Irish noting Margaret Mitchell wrote about her Great Aunts, The Fitzgerald’s who owned a home in Clayton County. That home was named Tara in her famous novel ‘Gone With The Wind’.
2013 Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival
Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 16, 2013, 12:00 Noon
Location: Peachtree Street at Ralph McGill Blvd., Downtown Atlanta
The Grand Marshal for last year’s Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade was Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Other dignitaries included Senator Johnny Isakson, Congressman John Lewis and Consul General of Ireland Paul Gleeson.
Other participants in the parade include:
- Celebrity Emcee – Moby In The Morning
- Special Guest of Honor – Cabinet Minister, Ireland
- Guest of Honor – from Consulate General of Ireland, New York
- 501st Stormtrooper Legion
- US Army Color Guard (Ft. McPherson)
- Atlanta Police Department
- US Army Ground Forces Band
- Atholl Highlanders Pipes & Drums
- Atlanta Fire Department with two Engines
- Augusta Angels Dancers and Drumline
- Augusta Highlanders Pipes & Drums
- Atlanta Rollergirls
- Chattahoochee Celtic Pipes & Drums
- Hawks Street Team
- Knights Of Columbus
- Thrashers Street Team
2013 Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade Schedule of Events
Saturday – March 9, 2013
6:30 p.m. – Hibernian Black Tie Ball (HBSA)
Thursday – March 14, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm Fr. O’Reilly Memorial Mass & Wreath Laying
11:00 a.m. – Tour Church & Crypt; Reception at
Shrine of The Immaculate Conception
12:10 p.m. – Mass (Community) Shrine of The Immaculate Conception
1:00 p.m. – Wreath Laying (NE Corner Old Atlanta City Hall)
Friday – March 15, 2013
7:30 a.m. – Irish Chamber of Atlanta Breakfast (TBA)
Saturday March 16, 2013
9:30 a.m. – Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day 5k – Piedmont Park (Contact Ed Williams 404 327-7738)
12:00 noon – 131st Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade – Peachtree Street
Monday March 18, 2013
10:00 am – St. Patrick’s Mass, Cathedral of Christ the King – Buckhead
3rd Annual St. Patrick’s Golf Tournament – Peachtree Golf Club
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After the parade goes through and finishes at Underground Atlanta where the celebration continues. Fountain Plaza at Upper Alabama St. is where to find children activities and the Interactive Kids Zone. The St Patrick’s Festival features live entertainment, food, music and of-course green beer!
St. Patty’s Day Parade is now entering its 131st year and is the largest parade in Atlanta. The best part is you don’t have to be Irish to participate in the festivities. It’s a great parade and a wonderful family atmosphere that emphasizes children, school and immigrants.
One thing is for sure, Irish Eyes will be smiling at the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade!