On Sunday, South Boston came alive with the sound of bagpipes and the buzz of a jubilant crowd as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade marked the Irish holiday.
Up to one million spectators were estimated to attend Sunday’s parade, which happened a day after St. Patrick’s Day. The parade saw sunny skies albeit cold temperatures. This year’s route was shortened due to concern over massive amounts of uncleared snow on the ground after last week’s blizzard. The new 1.8-mile route was about half the length of the original 3.2-mile route. As a result, spectators dealt with more congestion than usual.
More than 100 groups and thousands of marchers participated in Sunday’s event, according to organizers. The parade included about 75 floats and saw performances from 35 bands. The annual parade has been a tradition in Southie, where Irish immigrants first settled in the early 1800s, since 1901.
Some fast stats about the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
2018 was the 117th year of the parade
Anti-war group Veterans for Peace was banned from participating due to not meeting the parade’s code of conduct
In addition to local bands, musicians traveled from as far away as Ireland and Canada
The parade lasts about 3 hours
There are few rules, but among them: no nudity, no cursing and no protesting
In their code of conduct, organizers make no mention of a ban on booze — though road soda isn’t always necessary as there are a plethora of Irish pubs in Southie
The “advertisement or display of one’s sexual orientation as a topic” is not allowed. In other words, organizers don’t want spectators to protest for gay rights at the annual parade
Although not required, parade organizers encourage spectators to arrive wearing green and sporting as much Irish pride as possible (think green Mardi Gras beads and shamrock tattoos)