Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St Patricks Day Foundation inc.
St. Patrick’s Day Foundation at the Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Young or old, it seems like everyone loves a parade. If you are among those who love them, Naples has a treat for you coming up this week. The annual Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a local favorite and sure to become one of your favorites as well. This year’s parade is being held on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at 9:30 am starting at 8th Street South and finishing at Naples City Hall.

St Patrick in front of a cross at Naples Parade
St Patrick Float at Naples Parade

Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade History

The Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been held for a little over 45 years. The fun-loving founders were looking for a way to celebrate Irish culture and heritage in the United States. In those four decades, it has grown to become the largest privately-funded parade in the state of Florida. The parade is funded by sponsorship and donations. The Naples St. Patrick Foundation was set up to continue the tradition. You can’t talk about the parade without mentioning the hundreds of volunteers that give their time to make this beloved event a success.

The first parade in 1976 was a small affair centered around St. Ann Church. It has grown both in size and reputation since then. The annual event has a reputation on par with the parades held in Chicago, Boston, and even Dublin.

The 2022 parade is a special event. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the Foundation to cancel the 2020 parade out of an abundance of caution. Still being cautious, the board decided to make the 2021 parade a boat excursion to promote social distancing.

Grand Parade Marshals, Michaela nd Mary Jo O'Regan
Grand Parade Marshals, Michaela nd Mary Jo O’Regan

What to Expect

Definitely expect fun. And people. Lots of people. Over 40,000 spectators show up to line the parade route and enjoy our Florida weather.

The day’s events start at 9:30 am with a flag-raising ceremony held at The Dock at Crayton Cove. This event is to honor our veterans and public safety personnel. The ceremony also includes the participation of color guards and some musical accompaniments. Expect to hear from Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann, Miss Smiling Irish Eyes and the 2022 Grand Marshals, Michael & Mary Jo O’Regan. Complimentary danish, juice and coffee are being provided by The Dock Restaurant. The address for the event is 845 12th Ave S, Naples, FL.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am. The parade starts at the corner of 3rd Street South and 10th Avenue. It proceeds to turn east on 5th Avenue South until it turns south on 8th Street South. The parade finishes at the Naples City Hall. A map of the parade route can be downloaded here.

The parade route is approximately 1.8 miles long and the parade marshals do their best to keep the parade “gapless”. This helps the parade end on time and provides spectators with a more enjoyable parade-watching experience.

Naples High School St Patrick's Day Parade
Naples High School St Patrick’s Day Parade

The Naples St. Patrick Foundation Gives Back

The Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade is certainly the most publicly visible part of the Naples St. Patrick Foundation’s activities, but it is not the only thing the Foundation does. Their stated goal is to build the local music programs and give young people the chance to have fun, gain confidence, and become leaders. The Foundation’s activities have enabled them to donate over $200,000 to local high school bands and scholarships in the past five years.

What to Bring for the Parade

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses are highly recommended.
  • While there may be a little shade at points along the route, your experience with the parade will be much more enjoyable without sunburn at the end of the day.
  • Staying hydrated is also important, so bringing water and any snacks you may need is also suggested. Bring your camera or cell phone to take pictures to remember your day.
  • Wear some green and be Irish for a day.

Neapolitans love to have fun and enjoy our beautiful Southwest Florida weather.  If this sounds like the kind of place where you would like to own a home, Naples Relocation Experts can help. Contact us,  tell us what you are looking for, and let our expert staff find it for you.

Drew Josephson
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