CLEVELAND — After a long two-year hiatus, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, an annual event long rooted in tradition, returned to Cleveland. Northeast Ohio seems to have struck gold with the weather, and with that, a large crowd lined up along the sidewalks to watch floats, marching bands, and first responders celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Cleveland's first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in 1842. It was organized by Cleveland's third resident, Rev. Peter McLaughlin. And ever since, it’s been a favorite among residents.
The parade started between East 18th Street and Superior Avenue at 1:04 p.m. The route will ended at Public Square. First responders, Irish organizations, marching bands, floats and more were in the parade.
You can watch AirTracker 5 video of the parade below:
The animated map in the media player shows the parade route.
NOTE: The information below was published by News 5 ahead of the parade.
Before you arrive
“It is arguably the single largest event in the state of Ohio, larger than a Browns game, larger than the Buckeyes game,” said Harold Patel, deputy chief of Homeland Security, in a public safety news conference Wednesday.
With that in mind, those in attendance are encouraged to do the following things to prepare before coming downtown:
- Charge cell phones
- Bring water for hydration
- Have a meet-up spot for after the event in case someone in your group gets lost. Patel said it could be the Old Stone Church, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, or whatever feels familiar.
If you need help
If residents need help or see something that doesn't seem right, they can call The Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center at 216-515-8477, which will serve as the central communications hub for all safety forces. If it's an emergency, call 911.
Residents can also use #CleStPats to get in touch with organizers or share their highlights of the St. Patrick's Day parade.
Parking bans and street closures
Beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, the Cleveland Division of Police will have a parking ban in effect for the parade staging area and route.
This includes Superior Ave. between Public Square and East 24th St., plus all cross streets one block north and one block south of Superior Avenue.
The Cleveland Police Department will start closing roads to through traffic as follows for the Parade:
- 9:00 a.m. – The Parade Staging Area will be closed to non-Parade participants.
- The Staging Area is Superior Ave. between E. 18th St. and E. 24th St.; and E. 18th St. between Payne Ave. and Rockwell Ave.
- 9:00 a.m. – The intersection of Superior Ave. and East Roadway will be closed for placement of the Reviewing Stand. Traffic will be diverted around Public Square (Superior Ave. to E. 3rd St. to Rockwell Ave.)
- 12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. – Cleveland Police Department will begin closing and barricading cross streets along the Parade Route.
- By 12:45 p.m. – ALL traffic along Superior Ave. will be closed until the completion of the Parade.
- All Parade Units must enter the Staging Area from E. 24th St., and must have their Parade vehicle hang-tags in view at all times.
Feeling lucky? Cleveland struck gold with the weather
This St. Patrick’s Day will be the warmest in nearly a decade. We have a shot at hitting 70 degrees this year. The last time we reached in the 70s was in 2012 when temps measured 77 degrees.
Riding the Greater Cleveland RTA
St. Patrick’s Day is the single largest ridership day for the RTA. With temperatures in the 60s, Bob Fleig, interim public information officer for GCRTA, anticipates a high volume of riders.
The RTA will operate three-car trains on the Red Line and two-car trains on the Blue and Green lines throughout the day.
RTA employees will be at the following locations selling $5 special round trip tickets:
- Brook Park
- West 117th Street
- Tower City
Masks are still required on all forms of RTA transportation. Exact change for the $5 tickets is encouraged.
Don't have cash? You can still purchase a one-way fare ($2.50) or an All-Day pass ($5.00) at a Ticket Vending Machine or on the RTA CLE mobile ticketing app.
Riders are encouraged to download the RTA app to get the latest updates on bus and train arrivals.
Click here for more details.
Best Bars for St. Patrick's Day
If you're looking for an Irish bar to celebrate in, here's a a sampling guide to the best ones in Northeast Ohio:
Flannery's Pub: Flannery's is known for its Irish beers and Irish food menu and will open beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday. They are located at 323 Prospect Ave. in Cleveland.
"There’s a lot of people who haven’t been out in two years and I have a feeling this might be their coming out party," general manager Sean O'Donnell said.
O'Donnell told News 5 he's pivoting his staff to accomodate what will likely be one of his busiest St. Patrick's Day celebrations in years.
"Normally, we have a line [outside] by 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., this year I think it’s going to be 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.," he added.
PJ McIntyre's: It's an Irish Pub located in the Kamm's Corner neighborhood. They are located at 17119 Lorain Ave. in Cleveland and doors will open at 7 a.m. Thursday and the first 100 people inside will receive a free t-shirt.
Stone Mad Pub: This Irish pub is a must-visit in Gordon Square. They are located at 1306 West 65th St. in Cleveland and are scheduled to open at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Pride of Erin: Not only is it an Irish bar, but they also have darts and shuffleboard that you can play while enjoying an adult beverage. They are located at 12228 Lorain Ave. in Cleveland.
Sully's: On St. Patrick's Day, it allow attendees to rent a booth for three hours to enjoy the holiday. It is located at 117 West Liberty St. in Medina.
Flat Iron Cafe: It's been located in Cleveland for more than 100 years. It's located at 1114 Center St. in Cleveland.
To view a full list of options, click here.
Downtown Cleveland Alliance
Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s Clean, Safe and Welcoming ambassadors will be out walking around Downtown Cleveland throughout the day.
Heather Holmes, executive vice president of Downtown Cleveland Alliance, said the teams will be out to assists residents in any way they can, from car lockouts to safety escorts.
Attendees can call 216-621-6000 for further assistance. The DCA ambassadors are in direct contact with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Public Safety and Public works.
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