There's practically no escaping a St. Patrick's Day party in New Orleans today. And the celebration will extend into the weekend.
The early events on Friday are the block parties. Those take place at Parasol's on Constance Street, Tracey's on Magazine and Annunciation Park on Chippewa Street. They'll last most of the day today.
At noon today, you can enjoy free pasta and wine. The "World's Largest Bowl of Pasta" will be served at the St. Joseph’s Pasta Party at noon at the Hilton Riverside Hotel. That's courtesy of the Italian American St. Joseph Society.
Then, tonight we'll take to the streets. The Irish Parade from Molly's at the Market starts at 6 p.m., as does the Downtown Irish Club Parade.
"The guys will be giving out flowers, beads, boas, kisses...whatever," says club spokesman Harry Fabian. And, he says they'll make plenty of pit stops as they march through the Faubourg Marigny and the French Quarter.
The weekend doesn't belong solely to St. Patrick. Saturday's biggest event is the 47th annual Italian-American Marching Club's St. Joseph's Day Parade.
"It's a fun parade. We're going to have over 12-hundred marching guys, all dressed in tuxedos," says spokesman Tony Russo. "Naturally, we have the fava beans...the lucky beans. Of course, everybody along the parade route gets kissed."
Jefferson Parish joins the celebration Sunday with the big Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade, rolling in Metairie at noon.
"We have a total of 85 numbered floats in the parade, and 102 units," says parade president, Jason Renton. And he promises the parade will entertain.
"We're going to do like Endymion," he says. "We're going to throw 'til it hurts."
And, if that's not enough, the 10th annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival takes place both Saturday and Sunday in Armstrong Park. It's another free festival presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
It's a fun weekend in the metro area.
Parasol's Block Party Celebration. Parasol's Restaurant & Bar, 2533 Constance St., (504) 302-1543; www.parasolsbarandrestaurant.com - The Irish Channel bar hosts one of the city's best-known St. Patrick's Day parties with green beer, food and more. 11 a.m. Friday.
Tracey's Block Party. Tracey's Original Irish Channel Bar & Restaurant, 2604 Magazine St., (504) 897-5413; www.traceysnola.com - A block party celebrates St. Patrick's Day with green beer, corned beef and cabbage. 10 a.m. Friday.
St. Patrick's Day Block Party. Annunciation Park, 1500 Annunciation St. - The Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club presents its block party featuring food, drinks and music. Proceeds benefit St. Michael Special School. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.
St. Patrick's Day Block Party. Finn McCool's Irish Pub, 3701 Banks St., (504) 486-9080; www.finnmccools.com - The annual block party features live music, the "Irish Olympics," a limerick writing contest, karaoke and more. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday.
The "World's Largest Bowl of Pasta" at the St. Joseph’s Pasta Party at 12:00 noon at the Hilton Riverside Hotel Pasta served free of charge. There will be plenty of
music and wine.
Downtown Irish Club Parade. BJ's Lounge, 4301 Burgundy St., (504) 945-9256; www.facebook.com/bjs.bywater — Walking groups parade through Faubourg Marigny and the French Quarter. 6 p.m. Friday.
The Italian American Club celebrates St. Joseph with a parade through the French Quarter. The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Convention Center Blvd. and Girod Street. It includes 16 floats, nine marching bands and a whole lot of guys dressed in tuxedos.
The Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade will roll at 12:00 noon, on the traditional Veterans Highway route in Metairie. The parade features 85 floats and a total of 102 units.
Saturday and Sunday:
The 10th annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival in Armstrong Park. Another free festival presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, 11 to 7 each day.