Most years on a Sunday morning close to March 17th the St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place along Howe Street and Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver.
NOTE: 2016 was the year of Vancouver’s last St. Patrick’s Day parade. No parade took place in 2017 and no parade will likely take place again for several years if at all.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade
In years when it does take place, the Vancouver St. Patrick’s Day Parade goes along Howe Street beginning at the corner with Davie and then proceeds along Georgia Street to Granville. Beginning at 11 am, it’s a popular parade celebrating everything Irish, green and Celtic.
2017 would have marked the 13th anniversary of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which has been the largest and most popular event during Vancouver’s annual CelticFest festival in past years.
What to Expect
Thousands of people have turned out to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year in the past, and over 2000 more participate. Parade participants include marching bands, Irish and Scottish dancers, antique cars, people on horseback, the occasional float and other vehicles decorated by local businesses and organizations.
If the parade happens again in a future year, expect lots of bagpipe music and people wearing green clothing and kilts. Also expect there to be massive crowds, especially if the weather is good, and lots of traffic congestion (so use public transit to get there).
In years when it does take place, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at the corner of Howe Street and Davie at 11 am on the Sunday closest to March 17. The procession proceeds north along Howe Street to Georgia Street where it turns east before finishing just a couple of blocks away at the corner of Georgia and Granville. It’s a short parade and usually takes less than an hour, but can still attract up to a couple of hundred thousand people on a sunny day.
TIP #1: Get there early to find a spot along the road where you can see (and maybe take a book to read while you wait, or friends and family to chat with).
Post and Pre-Parade Activities
On parade day, as well as the day before, CelticFest’s Celtic Village and Street Market takes place each year along Granville Street between Robson Street and Nelson Street, just a short walk from the parade route. It’s a free event that includes music, vendor stalls, kids’ activities and entertainment. On the Sunday it usually runs from 10 am until 5:30 pm and is especially crazy-busy starting just before noon.
For more information on the March St. Patrick’s festival, check out CelticFest.
And for more information on St. Patrick’s Day events in general, click St. Patrick’s Activities in Vancouver.