Parade-goers watch last year's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
The St. Patrick's Day Parade, one of the most popular in New York City, returns for its 253rd year Monday. Revelers and marchers will pay tribute to the patron saint of Ireland along Fifth Avenue and here's how to partake in the festivities.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. and can be viewed online, on NBC 4 New York or in person. The march starts at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, ending at 79th Street around 2 or 3 p.m.
Watching along the route:
To avoid crowds, the best viewing spots are said to be along the northern part of the route, closer to 79th Street.
The grandstands are between 62nd Street and 64th Street and that area is only accessible with tickets. "Green hats, beads, and other 'costume' dress are not permitted in the Reviewing Stands," the parade notes.
The crowd is usually densest near St. Patrick's Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets.
No animals or mascots are allowed along the route or in stands.
"Absolutely no consumption of alcohol" is allowed. Those who appear drunk will be removed from the parade by NYPD.
Backpacks and large bags are all subject to search by police.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority urges parade-goers to use mass transit. But take note: alcoholic beverages will confiscated by the MTA Police. The authority advises customers to not bring alcoholic beverages, open or closed, on trains, platforms or stations on St. Patrick's Day through 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Numerous stations are scattered along the route, but the MTA cautions that 77th Street on the 6 train line, near the end of the parade, will be the most heavily-used station. Some station staircases could be designated as entry or exit only by police for crowd control.
Several buses will be subject to detours because of the parade. These are: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M31, M50, M57, M66, M72, M79, X1, X10, X17, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11 and Q32.
Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Railroad:
Both railroads will have extra service. For Metro-North service changes, click here. For LIRR service changes, click here.