Many years ago, a large number of Irish immigrants settled in New Orleans, creating the what was called the “Irish Channel”. Through the years, the area’s Irish descendants have built on the great tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This week New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish are set to host some of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parties in the United States. Because the Big Easy is a city known for its parties, this holiday is often on par with festivals like Mardi Gras, French Quarter Fest, or the local Essence Festival. So if you are planning on heading to New Orleans to enjoy some of the parades or block parties, we encourage you to remember that there are still rules and laws to follow. Here is some additional information on how you can best prepare to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely.
Starting the weekend before St. Patrick’s day, partiers can make their way to the French Quarter for the annual Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade. This parade starts on Decatur Street and kicks off a week of wonderful festivities. Local residents and tourists can also enjoy the Tracey’s St. Paddy’s Day Party and Parasol’s Block Party Celebration and stay for the parade. The large Irish Channel Parade begins with a Catholic Mass at noon and the parade follows around 1 p.m. at Felicity and Magazine Streets.
Later that evening, you can make your way back to the French Quarter for the Italian-American St. Joseph’s Parade. Evidently the day isn’t just for Irish as the Italians in New Orleans parade through the quarter with amazing floats and talented marching bands. Locals also host a spaghetti dinner to add additional support for the Italians marching in the parade. On Sunday, participants can also hop over the Parish line to neighboring Metairie Road for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Metairie Road. This parade usually starts at noon in front of Rummel High School and winds back to the Parish line.
And finally, for those who have not gotten their St. Patrick’s Day fill, the Downtown Irish Club Parade begins at 6 p.m. in the Bywater and Marigny area and the Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade begins at noon on Sunday following St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day is typically a holiday that includes drinking alcohol. You should be aware that laws and safety guidelines are intended to help residents celebrate the Irish and Italian heritages of Southeast Louisiana. Here are some general guidelines to follow as you celebrate this green holiday:
• Anyone who is consuming alcohol in Louisiana must be at least 21 years old. Underage drinkers will be cited and can receive a Minor in Possession violation.
• There is no “open container law” in Orleans Parish or Metairie. However, regardless of the temptation to do so, partiers should never drink out of open glass containers in public.
• If you plan to drive to celebrations or parades, never drink and drive!
• Always obey your local law enforcement officers. If an NOPD or JPSO speaks to you or makes a request, listen to them, respect their authority, and follow their directions.
• Follow all local rules and regulations and always stay alert.
• Parades are a prime opportunity for criminals. Do not leave valuables in your car or carry expensive items with you.
• Use common sense and act with the safety of those around you at all times.
If you or someone you know has been injured during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can help you with your case and get you the relief you need.
If you or a loved one has recently suffered an injury related to an accident or any other type of personal injury, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. J. Price McNamara has been practicing law in Louisiana for many years and has an outstanding reputation in his community. Call us today to schedule your free case review and get an experienced attorney on your side.
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