Irish Channel parade joins Uptown once again


Courtesy of Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club

Gabriella Killett, Managing Editor for Print

The men known for sauntering down Magazine Street in tuxedos and drinking while giving out flowers and kisses will be in the Irish Channel once again.

Though New Orleanians missed out on the quintessential tradition last year and the year before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club parade is back this year in time for its 75 year anniversary March 12, 2022.

Jeff Delatte, a board member for the club, said that spectators and parade participants alike were disappointed that the parade was canceled in 2020 and 2021.

But like then, Delatte said the club is following city and state guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure the group can parade safely. All participants are required to submit a negative test of vaccination in order to march or ride, he said.

“It’s going to be really a great feeling and a shift back to what we’ve been doing for the last 75 years,” Delatte said.

Delatte said the club has built up a “great following” over the years and that everyone is excited to have spectators come back to the route and celebrate.

He also said the club is looking forward to being able to support local businesses with the parade back on. He said that the parade and its spectators give back to the community through the business they provide to retail shops and restaurants on the route.

The parade begins at Magazine and Felicity Streets, goes up Jackson Avenue to St. Charles Avenue and eventually ends up at Jackson Avenue and Magazine Street, where it disbands, Delatte said.

Five thousand people are parading with the club’s largest membership yet of more than 1,400 members, Delatte said.

But a week before the parade begins, March 4 at noon the club of men met for a practice march in the French Quarter, beginning on the front steps of Jackson Square on Decatur Street and ending at Ryan’s Irish pub, one of the close to eight bars the group visits on its practice march.

Mardi Gras was such a great turnout,” Delatte said. “We’re trying to get the word out that we’ll be out there as well.”

More than anything, though, Delatte said club members have most missed out on providing for charities through events like the parade.

The club has also had to cancel its annual block party held at Annunciation playground for St. Michael’s Special School twice now, but the party is back and scheduled for March 17, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A bowling tournament will also raise money for charity July 23, 2022 at 7 p.m. at Rock N Bowl Uptown.