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St. Augustine held first St. Patrick’s Day parade 422 years ago today



The First Parade

St. Johns County, Florida made history by holding the first recognized St. Patrick’s Day parade over 422 years ago in St. Augustine. The Catholic feast day celebration of St. Patrick is equally significant in the annals of world history for being celebrated in the New World with pomp and panoply; this makes it an occasion of gravity for the Irish populace. Ricardo Artur, the Irish vicar of the colony under Spanish rule, directed the procession in 1601.

Other Early Parades

Records reveal that the early parades on this day of revelry were held in the United States, not in Boston or New York, but in St. Augustine, credited with holding the first parade, fifty years later Savannah joined the carnival, and New York City followed suit with its inaugural parade in 1762. In the following centuries, many other cities have come to participate in the annual occasion to celebrate their Irish heritage or join in the fun festivities.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations – The Blend of Diversity

University of South Florida professor Michael Francis wrote for PBS, that the first St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States happened in diverse cities such as St. Augustine. The celebrations included a blend of Spaniards, Portuguese, Native Americans, Africans, a German fifer, a French surgeon and a few Irishmen, symbolizing the cultural connection of numerous ethnic communities in America towards St. Patrick’s legacy. After several centuries, the celebration has come to include more people worldwide, regardless of their faith, to honor the patron saint of Ireland.

Closing on a Fun Note

In conclusion, the St. Patrick’s Day parade happened first and is one of the most significant and earliest historical celebrations in the United States. Even with quarantines and restrictions in place, people have found ways to celebrate and honor the patron saint of Ireland. Watch the video below for more fun facts! As always, let’s stay safe and follow the community guidelines during our celebrations.



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