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Exploring Holyoke’s St. Patrick’s Parade Weekend: A Celebration of Irish Tradition & Community Spirit

Cead Mile Failte! (Gaelic for “a hundred thousand welcomes”)

This month Explore Western Mass goes green to give you a preview of all things Holyoke’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The iconic parade, now a full weekend of activities, brings together locals and visitors to revel in Irish heritage, live music, traditions, and the contagious enthusiasm that permeates the streets of Holyoke.

FRIDAY: A Prelude to the Parade

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Griffin's Café

Nestled in the heart of downtown Holyoke, Griffin’s is a quintessential Irish pub where the Guinness flows as freely as the conversation. Here, patrons can immerse themselves in the warm embrace of Irish hospitality while tapping their feet to live music performances.

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Francie's Tavern

With its cozy ambiance and eclectic playlist, you’re invited to unwind and savor the spirit of St. Patrick’s weekend. Whether you’re sharing a pint with friends or striking up a conversation with fellow revelers, Francies promises an unforgettable evening of camaraderie.

SATURDAY: Racing Through the Streets

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47th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race

The streets of Holyoke transform into a sea of green as runners of all ages and abilities, from near and far, lace up their running shoes converge for the iconic 10K Road Race. Held each year on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, this event is one of the most fun races in New England, and also one of the biggest running events in Western Massachusetts with over 7,000 registered runners. Not a runner, no problem. You and the family can join in on the 2 mile stroll through the streets of Holyoke and be part of the area’s most beloved homecoming weekend that way OR join thousands of fans lining the course and cheer on the runners. More details for the Road Race can be found here.

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Party Bus to the Road Race

Enjoy no hassle travel and group revelry by joining the Nathan Bill’s Road Race Bus Trip. Tickets include the bus ride, a T-shirt, and refreshments on the bus. After the race, the bus will head back to Nathan Bill’s for live music featuring The Alex Rohan Band & Trailer Trash. SPACE IS LIMITED and will sell out quickly. Click here for more or, if you’re local, stop by Nathan Bill’s, 110 Island Pond Rd, Springfield, to pre-order your shirt & reserve your spot on the bus!

SUNDAY: The Main Event

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71st Holyoke's St. Patrick's Parade

The crescendo of the weekend, the Holyoke’s St. Patrick’s Parade, is considered to be the premier Saint Patrick’s Parade in the northeastern United States. An entertainment showstopper for over 70 years, it has also been so much more – providing extraordinary influence culturally, socially, and economically to the city of Holyoke and surrounding areas. 

This year, the 71st annual celebration promises to continue to captivate all ages with its vibrant array of costumes, dazzling display of floats, marching bands (including a few “new-to-the-parade” groups), community spirit, and Irish pride. From bagpipers to flag twirlers, each contingent adds its own unique flair to the spectacle, culminating in a celebration of unity and diversity.

We’d love for you to come join us this year to live the experience and feel the excitement that has been around for over six decades in the city of Holyoke. However, with over 400,000 spectators expected we highly encourage you to plan ahead. The parade typically kicks off around 11 a.m., you will want to give yourself enough time to get to your location for viewing. The 2.65-mile parade steps off from the former Kmart Plaza parking lot on Northampton Street at 11:10 a.m. and makes its way to Hampden Street via Beech, Appleton, and High Streets. Click here for more information.

If you’re unable to be with us in person, don’t fret, you can join the over 1.2 million people viewing it live online (streaming on WWLP.com) or on television (in Western Mass on WWLP). For more information on streaming/TV viewing click here

To learn about even more St. Patrick’s Day related activities, from now through the big weekend, visit the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade website.

Explore Western Mass this St. Patrick’s Day Weekend!  Grab your family and your friends because you won’t want to miss out on any of the festivities! For great rates on overnight accommodations, click here.  

Learn more about upcoming events and must-see attractions here:  Explore Western Mass website, Instagram or Facebook.

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