Newport St. Patrick’s Parade
Newport is known for its upscale grandeur, with the Mansions, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the America’s Cup, but it was also the first Rhode Island Community to have a significant Irish population. Workers arrived to work on Fort Adams as early as the 1820s, and lived in the Fifth Ward on the southern edge of Newport Harbor. Today, the community is still there, and Newport’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, now in its 63rd year, provides proof that Newport is more than just Gilded Age fun.
As always, the parade is on the Saturday before the 17th,, starting promptly at 11 AM from the Newport City Hall and proceeding to St. Augustin’s Church (corner of Carroll Ave. and Harrison Ave) in the heart of the Fifth Ward. It’s a true community affair; you can expect pipe bands, marching bands, fife and drum corps, clowns, reenacotrs and a host of policemen, firemen, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the like. The whole thing takes about 2 hours.
Afterwards, the fun continues at The Hut (the Martin Recreation Center – 35 Golden Hill Street) with the 12th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Family Celebration, which goes from 1 to 4 PM. It’s a no-alcohol event with bag pipers, step dancers, and face painting, plus a “How Green Am I” contest with cast prizes. Entry is free.
If you really want to get into the spirit, there’s also the Big Daddy Award Ceremony and Pre-Parade party at Hibernian Hall, 2 Wellington Ave, Newport at 6 PM the evening of the 15th. It’s free.