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How To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day The Right Way in Rhode Island

St. Patrick’s Day is like Christmas in March for college students. Seas of people dressed in green swarm together and celebrate Irish tradition in the form of a huge, moving party.

And come on, does it really matter if you’re Irish or not? We won’t check your family history, but we will pinch you for not wearing green. 

There are various Saint Patrick’s Day parades in RI, but we’ve narrowed it down to our two favorites. And, don’t worry about just choosing one because you can attend both.

Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 14, 2015 at 11:00 AM in Newport, RI

For Rhode Islanders, it’s a tradition to head to Newport and celebrate its Irish culture, and the Newport St. Patrick’s Day parade does exactly that.

The high-spirited parade lasts about two hours. Amongst the acts, you can catch marching bands, Irish step dancers, and bagpipe players. Amongst the crowd is Salve students and other local college students that clash with the massive URI crowds that flood into Newport.

It’s the biggest celebration in Newport (after the 4th of July) and it lasts all day, even well after the parade is over.  This is probably the only time you’ll see a bunch of college students up at 8 AM and enthusiastic about it.  Students can take the RIPTA bus there and back from on or off campus, or even get a party bus there. 

Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade and 5KMarch 21, 2015  (5K Starts at 11 AM, Parade at Noon) in Providence, RI

All right, so you’re still reeling from your first St. Patrick’s Day parade, but take that green shirt out of the wash because the party isn’t over yet.

Providence kicks off their St. Patrick’s Day celebration with a parade as well.  If you’re feeling ambitious, prior to the parade a 5K race is held, known as the St. Pat’s 5K. Register for the 5K here.

After the race, the parade begins.  Similar to Newport, the Providence parade features talented bagpipers, and Irish step dancers to name a few acts.

Nearby Providence College and Bryant University students will also be in attendance at the parade. With so many locals, a great time is guaranteed.  Just like Newport, Providence is only a RIPTA ride away. 

So, if you aren’t going anywhere warm and tropical for spring break, it’s no big deal.  March might not be the warmest time in Rhode Island, but these parades happen regardless of rain, shine, or snow. Get your green on, and go enjoy two of the largest parties of the year! 

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