Last Update: Mar 11th, 2022
Parade park

St Patrick's Day Parade 2022

The St Patrick's day parade is back, and it's this Saturday, March 12.

2017 Parade

Saturday March 11 was the St Patrick's Day Parade in Fort Lauderdale. The Parade begins at 11am. Every year they start it earlier, because the people who run this city are idiots. They still line up on N New River Drive, despite the construction site along the road. God forbid they should be able to come up with something different so that people wouldn't have to worry about falling debris landing on their head.

Stpats lineup 2017

I didn't go down for the parade. I thought about it, but I was involved in something else and didn't make it. After 4pm I decided to head down to the Riverwalk to see what was going on.

Same old stuff every year. The Sun Sentinel still desperately trying to hold on. Who wants to read that rag, which has now been reduced to a bunch of contract bloggers.

Stpats walk

I grabbed a Guiness on the Riverwalk and headed to Briney's Irish Riverfront Pub.

After an hour and a half or so at Briny's, I went through the park to check out the band playing. The park was still pretty well populated at 6:30pm.

Brinys 2017 park

They had a big video backdrop for the stage this year. They have to do something to get people to come to these free events.

Briny 2017 stage

The Parade in 2015

St Patricks Parade 2015

The parade used to go all the way down Las Olas, but now it starts at the Lobster Bar Sea Grill. The "floats" and other participants line up along N New River Drive waiting for their turn to roll down the 1/2 mile parade route.

St Patrick's Parade Fort Lauderdale 2015

A pretty good crowd this year; a shorter route makes it look a bit bigger.

St Patrick's Parade Fort Lauderdale 2015

They don't set up bleachers anymore, so you have to fend for yourself. Some people found a way to get a good view without having to deal with the crowd.

St Patrick's Parade Fort Lauderdale 2015

There was the usual military presence. Military and Fire Fighters are big in St Patrick's parades.

St Patrick's Parade Fort Lauderdale 2015

There was a lot of stuff for kids; parades are mostly for kids for some reason. I didn't remember ever going to a parade when I was a kid; nor did I watch them on TV. Star Wars was a big theme this year, in honor of the big release later this year.

St Patrick's Parade Fort Lauderdale 2015

Something new this year were Camels, dressed in full Arabian Garb. I'm not sure what they were there for; camels are quite ugly up close. I didn't see anyone riding a camel at any time during the day.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015 Camels

While the parade was going on, there wasn't too much action at Huizenga Park. Everything was set up and ready to go.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015

The petting zoo returns. It didn't smell as bad as the first one they had; maybe they didn't invite the smelly animals back. Something else good for the kids but not for adults. They also had a turtle and alligator area but I don't like alligators so I zoomed passed that.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015 Petting Zoo

There were a lot of vendors around the perimeter of the park. They had a big flat screen on the stage for when there were no live people there, I guess. They were just tuning up at this point.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015

There's a big tent in the middle of the park. Not sure why, maybe in case it rained the few people that would go would have a place to sit.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015 Tent

I passed a stand selling Irish Bangers w/Onions. Only $4 and $1 for Water. I was in. They were $8 last time, which is just stupid.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015 Irish Banger

Kind of a small banger, lame boiled onions and little packets of not Gulden's mustard. Most if it ended up on my face. You can't eat a banger with 1 hand when you're carrying a big camera.

The parade terminated downtown by the Tilted Kilt.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015

I wasn't hanging around to watch a parade for 2 hours, so I went home and came back around 3pm to see how the party was going. I took the scenic route up the RiverWalk. There were some food trucks available; this one offering stuffed crepes. I passed on the food trucks.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015

The park was hopping; lots of kids and live music. Nothing I wanted to get involved with.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015

Briny's was filled as well, although I was able to get a Guinness at the bar fairly easily. The same dude was playing as is always there. He started playing just as I got there at 3:15pm and he was still playing at 5pm when I left.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015 Live Music

He needs to drop some of his material like the "happy song" and stick to Irish music. Briny's probably makes 1/3 of their yearly revenue between the parade and St Patrick's day. The place was packed with people eating corned beef sandwiches.

St Patrick's Fort Lauderdale 2015 at Briny's

Absolutely nothing of interest happened in the 2 hours I was there. Just a lot of people standing around. Some chick tried to hook me up with her friend; not bad looking but she had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth so there was no chance of that happening.

SOS in Fort Lauderdale. It was kind of fun the first time. I suspect that the Downtown Celebration tomorrow will be equally uninspiring.

The Parade, 2014

Last year's parade was hindered by the weather; it was 65 degrees at 11:45am. Not too many in Fort Lauderdale are going to put on their coats to go outside to watch a bunch of cars and trucks with clovers stuck on the side.

Fort Lauderdale St Patrick's Parade 2014 11:45am

Fort Lauderdale St Patrick's Parade 2014 11:45am

Notice the lack of spectators? What's the point of having a parade that nobody watches? The main picture was from 2 years ago. Each year, fewer and fewer people come to watch the parade.

Maybe we're having the Parade 9 days before the actual holiday because the Riverwalk Trust has a fundraiser concert scheduled for March 15? I can't think of any other reason; there certainly isn't a GOOD reason. What difference does it make anyway? It's just another event to generate a crowd for downtown businesses to cash in at the expense of taxpayers. Art Fairs, Parades. They have nothing to do with buying Art or holidays. They're windfalls for the Las Olas Company and downtown businesses; the owners of which sit on the boards that make all of the decisions.

I've seen a lot of TV advertising for the parade this year; Who is paying for the ads? The only "sponsors" listed for the parade are the City of Fort Lauderdale and the DDA, which is a publicly funded organization chaired by YOLO owner Tim Petrillo. Why aren't any of the downtown businesses sponsoring the event, since they're the ones that will benefit from the crowds eating and drinking at their establishments?

Why bother getting sponsors for this event when you can just use Taxpayer money for it? THIS is why we should always protest higher taxes. These events are just handouts to business owners who don't even bother to give anything back or contribute by sponsoring the events.

The parade is mainly for people who know people in the parade; the party is at Huizenga Park after the parade, where there will be live music and you can buy a sausage on a roll for $8. It's also the biggest day of the year at Briny Riverfront Pub.

It's difficult to get into the St Patrick's day spirit on March 8. But that's the way things go here in Fort Lauderdale. Maybe next year we can get rid of the parade unless the owners of Downtown restaurants, Briny Riverfront and the Las Olas Company sponsor it, since they're the ones who are going to cash in?

St Patrick's Day Parade 2013

In case you missed it, yesterday was the Fort Lauderdale St Patrick's day parade. Yeah, I know, it's not even close to St Patrick's day, but that doesn't matter to the people who plan things in this town. Remember, we have Christmas on Las Olas in November. The main photo here was the parade in 2010; the first year that they did the parade, and it was very well attended. Each year the crowds have dwindled and the parade has become a non-issue to me. This year it seemed to be over shortly after it started; I looked out onto Las Olas at 1:15 and it seemed to be over already.

Stpats 9

The only good thing about parade day is the "festival" downtown in Huizenga park. Thankfully, they're not doing the petting zoo anymore; there's nothing that stinks up a good festival like barnyard animals. There's live music at the festival, but the park is mostly for families. It's a free event with relatively cheap beer, although one stand was selling irish bangers for $8, which is ridiculous. I got one a couple of years ago for $5.

St Patricks Day Parade After Party

I bypassed the park on my way and headed straight up the riverwalk. There were more stands this year, selling green stuff mostly.

St Patrick's Day Parade Downtown

This is the biggest day of the year for Briny's Riverfront, it's a lot of passive business for them. The regular guy was playing with a green wig doing the regular songs. There was really nothing going on this year; there was very little energy. Just a lot of people sitting around and drinking beer.

Stpats 2013 3

They had a big setup way in the back of the bar with corned beef and cabbage, but it wasn't clear what the deal was. There was no sign or flyers; it wasn't a free buffet, and I didn't feel like asking how much it cost. There weren't a lot of people eating it.

Briny's Food on St Patrick's day

Their web site didn't even have this "event" listed; maybe more people would get the food if 1) they knew it was there and 2) if they knew how much it cost?

The most astonishing thing I encountered all day was Suite 100. How is it possible that it's still open?

Suite 100

On a Saturday afternoon with 1000s of people on the Riverwalk, Suite 100 was so dead that they didn't even bother to set up the chairs. Or maybe all of those tables were reserved? Seems unlikely. I haven't been to the Riverwalk in quite a while since there's nothing there anymore, but I assumed that Suite 100 would have closed by now. The guy who owns this need to let it go.

As dusk set in, I walked through the park and there was still live music playing.

Huizenga Park St Patrick's 2013

Another ho-hum event in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale events are like the ocean. The first time you go, when you're like 5 years old, the ocean is the greatest thing ever. Over the years, it becomes less and less interesting. At least there are girls in bikinis at the beach.

Now we can wait a week for the real St Patrick's day. The downtown party is a big deal; if not the same thing every year.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2010

Parade band

Las Olas Blvd downtown is closed for the St Patrick's day parade. Charlie Crist was the Grand Marshall. But if you arrived 5 minutes late you missed him; apparently Charlie had somewhere else to be. Charlie led the parade and seemed to make a quick exit.

The downtown festival in Huizenga plaza started this morning at 11:30 with thousands of people gathering to listen to Irish music, buy Irish paraphernalia, and to drink Guiness and eat Irish Bangers with onions. Families, including dogs, enjoyed the sunny day and warm temperatures. The storms left town just in time.

I was surprised to see bleachers setup up in front of where Jackson's steakhouse was. As it turned out, sitting in the bleachers was no advantage unless you were way up high; the parade was on the north side of the street and the bleachers were set up on the South side. So there were layers of people in front of the bleachers.

St Patricks Day Parade 2010

The parade featured lots of vintage automobiles, including a vintage Fire Engine.

2010 Parade Vintage Fire Engine

The Military was well represented and received the loudest ovations.

St Patrick's Day Military (2010)

The Grand Master was Charlie Crist; a pretty good get having a sitting Governor as the Grand Marshall.

Charlie Crist, before his downfall

Crist has since lost both a Senate and Governor's race; the latter as a Democrat. He's now officially out of parties.

The best part of the parade is the after party; a free event in Huizenga Park.

St Patricks Day Parade 2010

There's live music throughout the day. Lots of families and kids in the park.

St Patrick's Day Parade Day Band

They have vendors selling food. I got myself an Irish Banger for $5.

Irish Banger with Onions and Mustard

Not bad. A good deal for $5. But most people end up at Briny's Irish Pub, which is packed to the brink.

Briny's Riverfront Pub

Irish music is on display here; it's the only day of the year I go to Briny's.

Briny live

The music in the park continues well into the darkeness; a band was still playing on the walk home.

St Patrick's Day Parade After Party Bands

Comment Policy Add Comment

Next: ALDI vs Publix: A New Times Hit Job Exposed