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Brief History of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick was born in Wales, when it was part of the Roman Empire. He was kidnapped at about age 15, sold as a slave and taken as a slave to Ireland. There he learned to pray to God and experienced a conversion. After a time he escaped to France. Having loved the Irish people, he returned to Ireland as a missionary, the first Bishop of Ireland, around 432.

20 years later, most of the Irish were Catholic. There is much reverence and honor for St. Patrick as the Patron of Ireland to this day. He is very much a part of true Irish Culture today.

March 17, 1780 – After the long hard winter of 1779-1780 in Jockey Hollow, Morristown NJ, George Washington, in recognition of the support of his Irish militiamen, and there were plenty of them, gave them the day off and thus began the first St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in the United States. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade then was in Morris County occurred in 1780:



Additional Parade Facts

The parade is fully self-funded and receives no public funds for parade expenses. It is funded solely by generous donations from corporate and individual sponsors. There is no public money involved so there is no cost to tax payers.

The Parade has a very strictly enforced non-alcohol policy for parade participants.

The Parade is a “rain or shine” event unless extreme weather conditions render it unsafe to hold the parade. That has occurred twice:

  1. 1993 -- The parade was postponed a week due to a snow state of emergency in Morristown.
  2. 2010 -- The parade was cancelled on Parade Day due to severe weather making it unsafe for participants and spectators. Parade was rescheduled for April 10 that year.

Parade organization takes great pride in having provided a safe fun-filled day for Morris County residents and their families to enjoy each spring at no cost to Morristown for 36 years, and look to continue to do so in the future.