Area Activity Guide: St. Patrick’s Day

Get Your Green On

Doesn’t St. Patrick’s Day seem like a holiday when anything goes? What started as a religious holiday remembering the patron saint of Ireland has expanded into a decidedly secular realm. People celebrate with everything from Masses and parades to Shamrock shakes, beer, and rivers dyed green. If you’re on the more conservative end of the spectrum, you’ll likely be relieved to know that, with St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday, the parade will take place on the holiday. In years when March 17th isn’t a Saturday, revelers tend to celebrate Parade Day as a warm-up or an encore — complete with green beer. Whatever your party style, it’s important to know how the locals will be marking the occasion. In addition to the packing to the gills of every Irish bar in town, here’s how Rochester will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day 2018.

St. Patrick’s Day Events in Rochester

Mass – 9:00 am

Join the Parade Committee for Mass at St. Mary’s Church, 15 St. Mary’s Place, Rochester, NY.

Johnny’s 20th Runnin’ of the Green – 9:30 am

Kick off your Spring and your race season with Johnny’s 5-Mile Runnin’ of the Green, hosted by Johnny’s Pub & Grill and Bill Kehoe. This must-run five miler starts at 9:30 am at the War Memorial (Exchange Street & Broad Street). Runners can register online or at Johnny’s in advance for $30, or in person on race day at the Blue Cross Arena from 7 am to 9:15 am for $35.

TOPS Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 12:30 pm

This year marks the 41st year for Rochester’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the first year iPhone users can download a dedicated Rochester Parade App. The free app serves as a handy guide to the people and places that will make this year’s parade a success. The Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a “Moving Show” dedicated to the celebration of St. Patrick and his life of service to others. This year’s parade will feature performances by nine different marching bands and drum lines and seven schools of dance. Regardless of how rowdy other festivities may be, the parade’s mission is to be fun, entertaining, family-oriented, and crowd-pleasing. To attend the parade, you can make use of a number of parking garages are located around the city, including on South Clinton, Main Street, East Avenue, and Woodbury. There is also street parking available on most side streets. Keep in mind that the RPD typically blocks all traffic along the Parade route at about 11:30 am.

Substantial Security

St. Patrick’s Day kicks off a new focus on security for Rochester’s festivals and special events. Local Police and Fire Departments will work with the Rochester Joint Terrorism Task Force to expand security measures at all large events moving forward. These measures are not in response to any specific threat, but rather to events nationwide involving large crowds. If you see something suspicious at an upcoming event, the city urges you to say something by calling 911.

Celtic Family Faire – 11 am-4 pm

Come in from the cold! Perfect for all ages, the Celtic Family Faire is held each year on the second floor of the Rochester Riverside Hotel from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. It has featured Irish Dance performances, a magician, Petting Zoo, Build A Bear, Photo Booth, Hair Braiding, Temporary Tattoos, and craft stations. The event is alcohol-free, and admission is your donation to CURE Childhood Cancer. Food and Drink will be available for purchase.

Post-Parade Party – 2 pm

Looking for a more adult-oriented party after the parade? Also being held at the Rochester Riverside Hotel is a post-parade party sponsored by Bud Light. Show up early to watch the parade from an amazing vantage point while 98.9 The Buzz broadcasts from the hotel. After the marching bands have passed by, take in a live performance by Download, Rochester’s premier rock cover band, then dance to even more tunes spun by the DJs from Encore Events! There is NO COVER CHARGE.