Get ready for the biggest Irish celebration in town!
It’s time to paint the town green! Join us on Saturday, March 10, for the Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival featuring the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales! That’s right! After a five-year hiatus, the majestic Clydesdales are back in town ready to lead the colorful parade down Las Olas Boulevard through the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale!
Presented by The Law Firm of Kelley/Uustal, the Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival has grown into one of Fort Lauderdale’s largest and most anticipated events, attracting thousands of spectators for a one-of-a-kind celebration of all things Irish.
This year, the pageantry and excitement kicks off at Huizenga Plaza (Las Olas and Andrews Avenue) at 7:00 am with the Shamrock Run, a 4-mile trek down Las Olas to the Intracoastal Bridge and back. The Shamrock 4-Miler will be immediately followed by the “Lucky Little Leprechaun Dashes” for kids. To register, visit www.shamrock-run.com.
Festivities will continue throughout the morning with live music and entertainment. At 11 am, join us for our official welcome and traditional Irish Blessing. Then, it’s time for the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in South Florida.
The St. Patrick’s Parade starts at noon and travels west along Las Olas Boulevard from S.E. 5 Avenue through the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Leading the parade will be Grand Marshal and Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler along with the world renowned Budweiser Clydesdales. First introduced in 1933, the majestic eight horse “hitch” has delighted audiences around the country for 85 years. Today, the traveling team of Clydesdales logs thousands of miles annually performing at parades, rodeos, fairs and special events. In addition to the Clydesdales, this year’s parade will feature more than 100 decorative floats, pipe and drum corps, classic automobiles, bagpipers, marching bands, Irish dancers, street performers, scout troops, local sports teams, Veterans groups, and much more!
Following the parade, stick around for the St. Patrick’s Festival, which runs until 7:00 pm at Huizenga Plaza and along the Riverwalk. Highlights will include live bands, Irish dancers, interactive entertainment, cultural attractions and an expanded Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, gigantic slides, pony rides, a trackless train, face painting, a petting zoo and mechanical rides. Featured performers will include the Celtic Sounds with Johnnie D, The Sky Family Band, Kelly Academy of Irish Dance, the Fineans, Aranmore Academy of Irish Dance, Celtic Bridge, Drake School of Irish Dance and more.
At 6:00 pm, get ready for the ultimate U2 experience as the City of Fort Lauderdale welcomes U2BYUV to the St. Patrick’s Festival for a return engagement! Led by front man Michael Schmidt, this nationally acclaimed group will leave fans speechless with their honest, authentic performances. The band’s intense, action-packed sets feature U2 favorites ranging from the early days of “Boy” to “Songs of Innocence” and everything in between.
In addition to outstanding entertainment, families and youngsters will love the festival’s expanded Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, gigantic slides, pony rides, a trackless train, face painting, a petting zoo, mechanical rides, and much more!
In addition to the parade and festival, Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors are invited to three outstanding kickoff celebrations!
FREE PUBLIC VIEWING OF THE CLYDESDALES
The City of Fort Lauderdale and the City of Hollywood will host a free public viewing of the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales on Wednesday, March 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Fort Lauderdale Police Mounted Unit stables, located in Holiday Park at 700 N.E. 9 Street (corner of U.S. 1 and Sunrise Blvd.). In addition to viewing the Clydesdales, the free event will feature tours of the Fort Lauderdale Police Mounted Unit stables, a petting zoo, and pony rides.
AN IRISH EVENING WITH THE CLYDESDALES
On Wednesday, March 7 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., join us for “An Irish Evening with the World Famous Clydesdales!” presented by Galleria Fort Lauderdale. This VIP fundraising event will feature a private tour of Clydesdale stables, along with an Irish Band, Irish Dancers, Bagpipers, hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased at www.stpatsftl.com. Proceeds will benefit the City of Fort Lauderdale and the City of Hollywood St. Patrick’s Parades.
IRISH PARTY IN THE PARK
Finally, get ready for the best Irish Happy Hour in town as Crush Law and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce present an “Irish Party in Park” on Friday, March 9 from 4 – 7 pm at Huizenga Plaza, located at the corner of Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue in downtown. The free event will feature an Irish Happy Hour, live bands, the legendary striping of the street, line dancing, and more!
The Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival promises to be an authentic, fun-filled, family-friendly event, so please make plans to arrive early, grab a great viewing spot, and enjoy the best Irish celebration in town. And don’t forget to wear your green!