photo: pipes and drums band

For the official press release, click here.

Sponsorship for the 255th annual NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade® is nearing $500,000, with three weeks before more than 200,000 people are expected to march up Fifth Avenue March 17, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Board Chairman John Lahey announced today.

Key sponsors include Ford Motor Co., Tourism Ireland, CIE Tours, Quinnipiac University, Fordham University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Guinness, Heineken USA and Empire City Casino.

In addition, the Knights and St. Patrick and the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation, NYC have made generous donations, Lahey said.

“Thanks to the generous and loyal support of our sponsors and benefactors, the 255th St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a tribute to our patron saint and a celebration of Irish culture and values, will be broadcast to millions of people in America and, for the first time, in Ireland and the United Kingdom,’ Lahey said.

This year’s Grand Marshal is U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who negotiated the Good Friday Peace Agreement. The parade commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising.

All of the traditional Irish organizations, including 49 Ancient Order of Hibernians groups, have signed up to march, parade organizers report.

The Fighting 69th, the 69th Infantry Regiment, is the first unit in the line of march. There will be 150 bands, including the New York Police Department Emerald Society Pipes & Drums and the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, as well as pipers from Galicia, Spain.

Units from Óglaigh na hÉireann, the Irish Defense Forces, and An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s National Police Service, will also march.

The 255th NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue starting at 11 a.m. It proceeds up Fifth Avenue to 79th street in Manhattan on March 17.

The Parade will be broadcast live on WNBC-TV 4, Thursday, March 17, and live-streamed on For the first time ever, the parade will be broadcast live in Ireland and the United Kingdom by Irish TV.

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