Get us in your inbox

St. Patrick's Day parade
Photograph: Shutterstock

25 things you will definitely see on St. Patrick's Day in NYC

From grown men dressed up like the Lucky Charms leprechaun to dogs in green bows.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
Written by
Time Out contributors

St. Patrick's Day in NYC is a big deal. New York honors Irish heritage and culture with its stately parade of traditional musicians and marching bands while some New Yorkers throw caution and sensible outerwear to the wind and get completely trashed at bars near NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade. If you're thinking of attending this year's celebrations, or simply trying to weave your way through the revelers, here's what you can expect to see.

RECOMMENDED: See the full St. Patrick's Day in NYC guide

Here are the things you will definitely see on St. Patrick's Day in NYC…

1. Free shots.

Thank you, bartenders.

2. Green beer

It's become the tradition we never asked for.

3. Puddles of green vomit.

And the more traditional colors too, but the green ones are the most alarming.

4. The walking barfer.

That unfortunate person will not stop to vomit in one place but instead will make a trail of his biohazardous waste down the block.

5. Grown men dressed up like the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

The green fabric top hats, the tights, the weird ginger's a look.

6. Train cars full of partiers

You may want to avoid the LIRR because it becomes a drunken, smelly party on rails.

7. A parade! A big old freakin' parade on the streets of Manhattan.

It's been a while since we've seen one and it's going to be so joyful! There will be waves of flags, marchers and pipe and drum players.

8. Wasted frat bros having fist fights at 11am.

Time is irrelevant when it comes to physically proving their point.

9. Wasted frat bros’ girlfriends screaming for them to stop fighting but then encouraging them to start again as soon as they stop.

It's screaming either way.

10. Kids wearing green stick-on facial hair.

It's very silly but we're here for it. They look like little old men.

11. A bittersweet return to Fifth Avenue

It's been a long two years without the big beautiful St. Patrick's Day Parade. We've seen a lot happen and lost a lot of people in these two years, but we're grateful to be back celebrating on Fifth Avenue.

12. People watching the parade and showing off the fact they know what Uilleann pipes are.

They're just Irish bagpipes, Susan.

13. Soldiers playing saxophones.

It's not something you see every day!

14. Parents with small children realizing far too late that bringing kids to the parade was a terrible mistake.

And now they'll see everything.

15. A sad, gaudy trail of abandoned sparkly green clothing and accessories that leads to nowhere.

A very far cry from gold coins leading to a rainbow.

16. A group of actual Irish people on vacation being bought drinks by everyone who is convinced they have to be related, because "my great great great grandfather’s uncle visited Ireland once."

A small price to pay for a free drink.

17. Dogs and horses that have been coerced into wearing green dickey bows and necklaces.

It's pretty cute, though.

18. Mardi Gras beads, cuz, like, it's, uh, St Patrick's Day, dude.

You know, the ones with the four-leaf clovers and the small plastic pints.

19. School marching bands doing their absolute best. Aww.

Major props to these high schoolers braving the cold and the crowds.

20. Drunk people doing their best to mangle "Danny Boy."

It's like clockwork.

21. Drunk people carousing (and weeping) with gusto.

Just keep your distance.

22. Just, like, drunk people. All the drunk people.

...just keep your distance.

23. Clumsy make-outs galore.

There's something in the air on St. Patrick's Day.

24. Really, really ill-advised tattoos.

And people getting ill-advised tattoos.

25. A pot of gold and a leprechaun...if you drink enough.

Popular on Time Out

    More on city identity

      Latest news


        The best things in life are free.

        Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

        Loading animation
        Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

        🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

        Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!