The 8th Annual St. Augustine St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates the first St. Patrick’s Parade in the U.S., held in 1601 in St. Augustine, Florida. It’s a celebration of the Emerald Isle’s most revered saint.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10 at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. The parade travels down Orange Street to Avenida Menendez (the bayfront), then to Cathedral Place, next on Cordova Street, then back to Orange Street.
Spectators are encouraged to arrive early to claim a spot along the parade route, then follow the parade to the Celtic Festival.
The parade announcer is Mike Sullivan, a winter resident of St. Augustine who is a retired police officer from Michigan, and a pub singer in Port Huron in his spare time.
2018 ST. PATRICK’S PARADE JUDGES
- Jessica Clark, First Coast News
- Jeff Valin, First Coast News
- Chelsea Saddler, local musician
- Heather Fitzwater, Simply St. Augustine
- Jo Ellen Parkey, a local mom who sings in the choir at St. Anastasia Catholic Church
There are more than 50 units in the parade this year, featuring 1,000 participants! The Clans and athletes from the Highland Games, who are part of the festival, also will be marching and carrying their flags and banners — with the music, colors, language and stories of their ancestors.
Local officials also will be part of the parade and other units include the 501st Legion (Storm troopers in kilts!), Ghostbusters, pirates and clowns, four pipe and drum corps, two schools of Irish dance, two horse units, and two honor guards.
The Springfield Missouri Central High School Kilties also will march in the parade. Springfield High School music director R. Ritchie Robertson, a native of Scotland, founded the Kilties in 1926. The group also will perform from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at the Celtic Festival.
Parade organizers Matthew and Chris Fulmer have been involved in the parade since its second year, and took over as organizers in 2016.
“We want to make this a community event that everyone can enjoy, and we have a really dedicated team working with us to make everything run smoothly,” Chris said.
Entrants will be judged in one of three categories: Band, Marching unit or Float. Prizes will be given for the best in each category. The reviewing stand is on the balcony of Ann O’Malley’s Irish Pub on Orange Street.
Find the CELT in YOU in America’s Oldest Celtic City
The three-day St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival is “The Finest Celtic Music Festival in the United States,” according to the international bands who perform here and the fans who return each year.
The festival is set for March 9-11 in downtown St. Augustine, featuring 9 of the top Celtic bands in the world, a pre-festival Whiskey Tasting, The St. Augustine Highland games, Celtic artisans and food, live music, two stages, and a variety of entertainment – and the OLDEST St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the World (started here in 1601) – beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10.
The St. Augustine St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival is produced by Romanza – St. Augustine and is funded in part by St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and by Visit Florida.