Philadelphia's St. Patrick's Day Parade scale and history are topped only by New York's event. The Irish national holiday was celebrated here for the first time in 1771. Held on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day, Philadelphia's Parade is the largest annual procession in the city, boasting about 20,000 participants and 200 groups.
Colorful floats, marching bands, folk bands, dance groups, youth groups, and Irish Associations march through downtown, surrounded by about 500,000 cheering spectators. Thousands wear green and chant "God Save Ireland!" Traffic policemen, city recreation and street department workers, and fraternities march in the parade every year, celebrating one of the oldest urban traditions of the city.
The parade route goes down Market Street, from City Hall to Penn’s Landing. It starts at noon and lasts for about three hours. There are music performances and entertainment on a special stage along the route.
Other St. Patrick's Day events in Philly include the special mass at St. Patrick's Church, numerous pub crawls, parties, and concerts. Plenty of Irish folk and Celtic rock music is played throughout the majority of popular clubs and music venues.