Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Wearin’ ‘O the Green Festival

It’s time to celebrate Saint Patty again!

An annual celebration of St. Patrick, Irish Culture and Celtic Traditions! The annual Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Wearin’ ‘O the Green Festival features an exciting parade, Leprechaun Lane with lots of activities for your little leprechauns and lots of fantastic food and drink.

There is also the Irish Village with beautiful Celtic inspired jewellery, arts and crafts to purchase for your corner of the rainbow!

Great traditional live music and dance will be presented on the Shamrock ‘n Roll Stage and the Court House Steps Stage all afternoon! Come bring the family and your friends for a day of great Irish fun. And don’t forget to be wearin’ a little green!


Shamrock ‘n Roll Stage – City Plaza

11:30 Nine Times Around
1:00 Parade Committee
1:30 US Fleet Forces – Four Star Edition!
2:30 Shanachie
3:30 Ceol Cara

Courthouse Steps Stage

12:00 NC State University Pipes and Drums
12:30 Triggle Academy of Irish Dance
1:00 Lynn-O’Grady Quinlan-Connick Academy of Irish Dance
1:30 Inis Cairde School of Irish Dance
2:00 Annandale Center of Scottish Dance
2:30 to 4:30 Irish Session – all musicians welcome


The parade and festival are an annual non-profit event, and as such can always use, and very much appreciate volunteers! If you would like to volunteer some of your time and talents to this great event, simply follow this link: https://raleighstpats.org/volunteer_open

How it all began:

The parade started in 1983 with a dozen or so enthusiastic Irish-Americans marching down Wilmington St. to the delight and curiosity of downtown residents, merchants and shoppers. The parade was organized initially by John McIntyre and Gail Massari.

John and Gail kept the parade going and growing until 1988 when John was transferred to Germany. Prior to leaving for Germany they asked Raleigh’s Friends of Ireland (FOI) organization to continue the work they started. The FOI board agreed to organize the parade.

Frank Mellage became involved with the parade at that time. He served on the Parade committee from 1989-1992 and became Chairman of the committee for the 1993 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  In 2000 an independent Raleigh Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee was formed with members from other local Irish organizations. The 2019 Parade will be the 37th!

About Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. His Feast Day is March 17th.

Much is not known about St. Patrick but he was likely kidnapped from Britain around the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave.  He worked as a shepherd and spent much of his time cold and hungry and turned to prayer.  He escaped from slavery after being told in a dream by God to travel west.  He returned to Britain and studied in monasteries became a priest, then a bishop.  He had dreams of the Irish people calling to him to be with them and to help them.  He returned to Ireland and travelled converting many to Christianity.  It is said that Saint Patrick used the shamrock’s three leaves on one stem to explain the Holy Trinity.  The shamrock is still a symbol associated with Saint Patrick and Ireland.

He died between 461-464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland.

Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Wearin’ ‘O the Green Festival

  • Dates: March 14, 2020
  • Venue: City Plaza
  • Location: Downtown Raleigh
  • Address: 400 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27601
  • Phone: 919.815.3361
  • Times: Parade: 10am; Festival: after parade-7pm
  • Admission: Free