By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on March 17, 2010 11:00 AM
Green hat? Check. Carefree attitude and sparkling shamrock pin? Check. Small leprechaun to accompany you? Check. (Just seeing if you were paying attention.) Faith and begorrah, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and if you didn’t know by the calendar, you could certainly tell by the plethora of green-clad revelers. The parade, which began 249 years ago (and you can bet someone is already preparing for the 250th anniversary) starts at 44th Street at 11:00 am today, and wends its way up New York’s Fifth Avenue; as you’ll note, no floats, balloons, cars or other “commercial aspects” are involved. It marches past St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 50th Street, past the American Irish Historical Society on 83rd (who knew?) as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and finishes up on 86th Street in the late afternoon, usually around 4:30 or 5:00 pm. (By the way, St. Patrick’s Day is held every March 17 except when it falls on a Sunday; then it takes place the day before.) Anyone actually know why the parade is held? It honors the patron saint of Ireland as well as the Archdiocese of New York, and also, of course, celebrates Irish faith and history. Who knows who the Grand Marshall is? Yes, if you said Honorable Raymond Kelly, New York City’s Police Commissioner, you’d be right. One word of advice: Whether you’re Irish or pretending to be, going to the parade or avoiding it all costs, leave your car at home and take public transportation. You'll thank us, honestly.