Newport boasts one of the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades on the East Coast. According to the Museum of Newport Irish History, the first parade of Irish in the city occurred in 1842.
It consisted of a few musicians leading a contingent of calloused-hand laborers and others through downtown for St. Patrick’s Day on a march of far more significance than the gaiety drawing thousands along Thames Street on Saturday.
The Irish emigrated here in the early 1800s with the promise of jobs, particularly labor jobs in the coal mines of Rhode Island or building Fort Adams early in the 19thcentury.
They were making a statement in 1842, and the tradition has continued.
Although everybody likes to say they’re Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, there is a large portion of the town who isn’t weaving a tall tale when they announce that they are in fact Irish.
Newport celebrates its 63rdSt. Patrick’s Day Parade anniversary this year, and will host the parade beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16.
Newport’s first formal parade took place in 1956, and it has evolved into a two-hour parade featuring some of the best local and regional bands, reenactments units and plenty of regional organizations such as police and fire units, social/fraternal organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Schools, and non-profits.
More than 50,000 people from across the country will visit Newport to watch the parade, widely considered one of the biggest in New England.
The Grand Marshal for the 63rd Annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade is
Robert “Bobby” Lehane, Jr.
Brick Alley Pub will use their philanthropy arm, Brick Alley Cares Foundation, to host their 9th Annual Post-Parade Day Cleanup. Join the Brick Alley Pub crew and volunteers at Brick Alley Pub between 10 am and 12 pm on Sunday, March 17th to help with the effort.
The Parade Committee will host their 12th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Family Celebration from 1-4 pm at the Martin Recreation Center (“The Hut”), located next to Newport Public Library at 35 Golden Hill Street. This event is a non-alcohol event. There will be entertainment with Bag Pipers, Edge Drumline, Irish step dancers, Tony the Dancing Cop, pirates, face painting, and more. There will be a “How Green AM I” contest with cash prizes!