10 things to know about the 2019 Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

The Newport Saint Patrick's Day Parade yearly button and logo is designed to try to incorporate the vocation or interests of their Grand Marshal. For the 2019 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, their Grand Marshal is Robert "Bobby" Lehane.

The 63rd Annual Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will be held, rain, snow, or shine, on Saturday, March 16th, 2019, here are some things to know about the big day.

10. Timing & Route

The 2019 Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will begin promptly at 11:00 am from Newport City Hall and will proceed to Carroll Avenue at Saint Augustin’s Church in the heart of the Fifth Ward. The parade this year, which does happen rain or shine, is estimated to last 2 hours and will include Pipe Bands, Marching Bands, Fife & Drum Corps, Clown Units, reenactment units, and a host of local, state, and regional organizations including police and fire units, social/fraternal organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Schools, and non-profits.

During the parade, the Newport Police Department will be strictly enforcing City Ordinances (open containers of alcohol in public, noise violations, disorderly conduct, and underage drinking) along the parade route and the surrounding areas. The Police Department will have a strong presence in order to make this a fun, safe and family-friendly event.

9. By The Numbers

Since the reorganization of the parade in 1956, the annual Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has grown into one of the biggest events in Newport. The Parade is the highlight event of a month-long celebration marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring, the Annual Newport Irish Heritage Month.

According to event organizers, more than 50,000 people from across, Rhode Island, New England, and the country will visit Newport to watch the parade. Newport’s Parade is considered the largest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Rhode Island and one of the biggest in New England.

The cost of hosting a parade of this magnitude is over $47,000, as most of the participants are paid a fee. Local schools use their fees to defray the costs of fielding the activities. Other groups, such as the Shriners Clown Unit and Motor Corps, donate their fee to charities such as the Shriners Burn Centers.  Although the parade is very expensive to host, it is beneficial to the larger community in so many ways, local hotels and restaurants consider it one of busiest days of the year.

8. Parade Marshal

The Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade yearly button and logo is designed to try to incorporate the vocation or interests of their Grand Marshal.

The Grand Marshal for the 63rd Annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade is
Robert “Bobby” Lehane, Jr. Read more about Bobby here.

The yearly button and logo designs try to incorporate the vocation or interests of the Parade’s Grand Marshal. For the 2019 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade our Grand Marshal is Robert “Bobby” Lehane.  The “Celtic Cross”, with its beautiful interlace, signifies the Grand Marshals ethnic heritage and his active role in the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization. The 2-color nimbus represents a halo for his grace, faith, and compassion. All of which is displayed on the Irish tricolor.

7. Dedication

The 63rd Annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade is dedicated to the memory of Leonard T. “Lenny” Murphy (June 27, 1936 – January 25, 2018).

6. You Should Support The Businesses That Make The Parade Possible

Support the businesses who have an official Newport Saint Patrick’s Day poster in their window, they have financially contributed to the Parade and make the event possible.

Brick Alley Pub will use their philanthropy arm, Brick Alley Cares Foundation, to host their 9th Annual Post-Parade Day Cleanup. Join the Brick Alley Pub crew and volunteers at Brick Alley Pub between 10 am and 12 pm on Sunday, March 17th to help with the effort.

5. There’s An Official Family Friendly Event

The Parade Committee will host their 12th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Family Celebration from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Martin Recreation Center (“The Hut”), located next to Newport Public Library at 35 Golden Hill Street. This event is a non-alcohol event. There will be entertainment with Bag Pipers, Edge Drumline, Irish step dancers, Tony the Dancing Cop, pirates, face painting, and more. There will be a “How Green AM I” contest with cash prize ($150, 100, & 50) and a $100 cash door prize!   There will also be giveaways. Entry is free! More Info & Updates

4. Traffic & Parking

Traffic will be congested in the downtown area from about 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Parade participants will begin staging on lower Broadway at about 9:00 am, so it is recommended that people coming to Newport to view the parade avoid trying to drive down or park on Broadway. The two best routes into the city with available public parking are Westbound on Memorial Blvd, right onto Bellevue Ave. (northbound), left on Church St. and right into the Waterfront Parking lot (situated between Church and Mary St.) Farewell St. South to America’s Cup Ave., and right into the Gateway parking garage.

Traffic detours are historically in the following areas;

  • Southbound Broadway diverted onto Marcus Wheatland Blvd southbound at Equality Park.
  • Spring St northbound diverted away from Broadway and up Bull St. to Kay St
  • Westbound Memorial Blvd West diverted northbound on Thames St at the Post Office
  • Northbound Thames St diverted away from America’s Cup up Mill St to Spring St.

In addition to the many private parking lots throughout downtown Newport, the City operates several public parking lots in Newport.

Likely Places To Find Available Public Parking:

  1. The Gateway Visitors Center, located at 23 America’s Cup Ave. The garage and parking lot accommodate 484 vehicles (Newport Police Department recommends this lot).
  2. The Mary St. Parking lot is located in downtown Newport between Lower Mary St. and lower Church St. Number of Parking Spaces: 118 (Newport Police Department recommends this lot).
  3. Long Wharf Lot, a small lot (thirty-five spaces) located on Long Wharf near the Newport Yacht Club.
  4. Touro Court Lot, a small parking lot (32 spaces) accessible from Clarke St (off Touro St.).

Note: This map is to show you the location of the public parking lots, DO NOT follow the “key” on this map. Where parking is available on the map does not represent what will be available this weekend.

Parking is historically prohibited on the following streets from 5:00 am to 3:00 pm.

All vehicles parked in restricted areas will be towed, note there is no parking along the parade route.

  • Broadway from Cranston/Equality Park West to Washington Square
  • Equality Park Place and Equality Park West
  • Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Boulevard (West side)
  • Bull Street at Spring Street
  • Spring Street at Bull Street
  • Washington Square from Broadway to Thames Street
  • Thames Street from America’s Cup Avenue to Morton Avenue
  • Carroll Avenue from Morton Avenue to Harrison Avenue
  • Both sides of America’s Cup Avenue at the Gateway Center
  • Narragansett Avenue between Spring Street and Bellevue Avenue

3. What’s Up At Local Bars & Restaurants

What’sUpNewp is keeping a live blog of all that’s happening at more than 30 restaurants and bars across Newport.

Visit the link here – 2019 Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade: What’s up at local bars and restaurants

2. The Fun Begins On Friday, March 15th

Join What’s Up Newp and friends on Friday, March 15th, the eve of the 2019 Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, at Midtown Oyster Bar for our 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

Stop by for some great food, live music from Newport RI Ancient Order of Hibernian’s Pipes and Drums, AOH Men’s Singers, Sean Rivers Music, and much more (details to be announced).

Ragged Island Brewing Company will be launching their brand new 5th Ward Dry Irish Stout at this event. They are happy to celebrate Irish History on St. Patrick’s Day weekend along the parade route.

Timeline of events:
4 pm – Event Begins
5:30 pm to 5:45 pm – Performance by Newport Men’s Irish Singers
6:30 pm to 7:15 pm – Performance by Newport AOH Pipes & Drums
9 pm to 1 am – Live music with Sean Rivers

Midtown will be serving Irish fare
No cover. First-come-first served. Family friendly. 21+ after 9 pm
All performances take place in Midtown Oyster Bar’s first floor Tavern.

1. The Fun Continues Throughout March

The 42nd Annual Newport Irish Heritage Month, and Irish fun and festivities, continue throughout the month of March.

For a list of events, visit here.

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