Revelers are expected by the thousands in Providence, Saturday for the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The celebrations include live music, a 5-k run, and of course, Guinness. There will be dancers, bagpipers, and floats as the parade winds its way through Smith Hill.
But it wasn’t always so. When organizer Patrick Griffin immigrated to Providence from Ireland in 1984 there was no parade. He’s now President of the Parade Committee.
“It’s great to see the enthusiasm of people,” said Griffin. “It’s great to see people coming up for this event. It’s something we hope to keep going for a long time so to see the people in the street cheering for us.”
Griffin said the event cuts across ethnic lines, in multi-cultural Providence.
“You will be surprised if you come out on the day of St Patrick’s parade, all the people of all diversities will want to come out and celebrate St Patrick that day,” said Griffin. “It’s the old saying – it’s the day where everyone wants to be Irish.”
The Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at noon in Smith Hill. Due to the large numbers expected for the celebration RIPTA will detour several bus routes in the city through the afternoon.
Sunday March 19th is St. Joseph’s Day, historically celebrated by Italian-Americans. The tradition includes a cream-filled taste of the Italian pastry Zeppole.