What could be better than celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the sun shining and ocean breezes?
The Hilton Head St. Patrick’s Day Parade
St. Patty’s Day in Hilton Head is very special and is South Carolina’s oldest parade. Local business people on the island began the tradition in the early 80s and it’s become an island and Lowcountry favorite celebration. Bigger and better every year — if you’re Irish (or not), and you happen to be on Hilton Head in March, it will be one of the best parades you’ve ever been to!
This year the Hilton Head St. Patrick’s Day Parade is on Sunday, March 17, beginning at 3 p.m. This is their 36th year and expect big crowds, beautiful floats and lots of Irish music.
The entire community is involved so you’ll see school bands, elaborately decorated floats and residents on golf carts (decorated in Irish finery, of course) being part of the festivities. The Parris Island Marine Band is on hand and sometimes, national celebrities have been known to participate. Last year, pipe and drum bands all the way from Boston participated.
Newcomers this year include the United States Army Band, The Greater Kensington String Band from Philadelphia and the Navy Band from the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
There are usually about 30,000 spectators and at the end of the parade, five awards are given out to the volunteers and participants. Based on originality, creativity and displaying the absolute best Irish green heritage, these folks take this event seriously.
Your best bet is to arrive early and if possible, bike to the event.
The parade begins at Coligny Plaza at 1 N Forest Beach Drive.
The Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday, March 16, 2019
In case you want to celebrate the entire weekend, you may want to consider driving to Savannah for the day on Saturday, March 16. Savannah is only a 30 minute drive from Hilton Head and their parade is the 2nd largest in the U.S. and the third largest in the world.
The celebration goes on the entire weekend, but if you’d like to see a large parade, get there early in the morning as the parade starts at 10 a.m. and goes on until 2 p.m.
Visitors, entertainers, pipe bands and dancers from all over the East Coast (and the world, including Ireland) come to celebrate.
This Savannah celebration began as a military parade in the 1800s, but the popularity of it grew and it is now world-renowned. There are over 300 marching bands and it goes through historical and beautiful downtown Savannah.
The two celebrations are family and pet-friendly, so don your best Irish green and celebrate!
Condos in Hilton Head
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