Cultural Heritage Tours

A project of the ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTER

Downtown Tour

First St. Patrick’s Day Parade 1842

746 Chapel Street, The Street Building

New Haven Parks Commission Float 1956 Parade. Courtesy of John O'Donovan.

Historic St. Patrick's Day postcards. Courtesy CTIAHS Archives, Postcard Collection of Richard Clarke.

The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New Haven was held March 17, 1842 when 90 members of the Hibernian Provident Society, a mutual aid organization formed the previous year, and one band marched through city streets behind a banner made especially for the occasion. The two mottos inscribed on the banner displayed the dual loyalties of the marchers: “E Pluribus Unum” and “Erin go Bragh” (Ireland forever). The event was at once a public affirmation of how much these immigrants cherished their traditions and the strength of their determination to become an accepted part of their new homeland. Today, New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the sixth longest running parade in the U.S. and has grown into the largest single-day spectator event in Connecticut. In 1999, as part of the Library of Congress’ 200th anniversary, the New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade was selected as “A Local Legacies Project” and its history is preserved in the Library of Congress.

  • Text source courtesy The Wearin' o' the Green St. Patrick's Day in New Haven CT 1842-1992 by Neil Hogan.

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