5 Southie Parade Day Tips to Fare Thee Well

southieHappy St. Patrick’s Day!  Though I’m not Irish, nor Irish-American, I do feel obliged to embrace this celebratory holiday, especially when the Southie Parade route is a few short blocks from my home.

Did you know that the Southie Parade does not take place today, March 17th?  In fact, it rarely falls on the actual St. Patrick’s Day, except when the holiday falls on a Sunday.  Because the parade is held on the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s Day.  This year, the parade will start at 1pm on Sunday, March 20th at the top of West Broadway, near the Broadway T Stop.

Besides telling you that the parade is this coming Sunday 3/20, here are 5 Southie Parade Day tips that I hope will fare thee well:

  1. When over a half million people are descending on Southie for this one day, you’re going to want to plan your entry and exit strategy.  Driving your car is highly discouraged and not really a viable option.  If you’re lucky to navigate through the road closures, then you’ll have to rub your lucky charms for a parking spot.  And with residents (like me!) who don’t plan on moving their cars after noon on Saturday, your options will be extremely limited.
  2. Parade Day doesn’t have to throw your diet off track.  Get a healthier start to your day by joining in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Road Race.  Runners set-off at 11am on a 5K course with a couple of hills so it’s guaranteed to get your heart pumping.  If you’re interested in a more intense workout, then Crossfit Southie is the place to be for its annual Murph Hero WOD.  It’s a killer workout, but the camaraderie and atmosphere at the box can’t be beat.  They’re offering two class times at 8am and 8:30am.

    Megan doing Murph Hero WOD
    My CF days may be behind me, but I completed Murphy scaled a couple of times. Don’t I look happy?!
  3. If you haven’t been invited for kegs ‘n’ eggs, then I’d recommend eating a small, mini breakfast before you leave.  Local restaurants are the few establishments, besides liquor stores and coffee shops, that are opening early to welcome revelers.  Most places, understandably, will be offering limited menus to speed up service.  My tried and true favs Lincoln Tavern or Stats usually draw decent crowds on regular weekends so I can only imagine how early the line will start forming this Sunday.
  4. Regardless of whether you’re a participant, spectator, or a civil servant keeping the peace, you’ll be doing a lot of walking on parade day and comfy shoes (or Hunters, if it rains) are the way to go.  And the temperatures fluctuate depending on what side of the street you’re on.  The odd side is a bit chilly in the shade while the sun can really beat down on you on the even side.  You’ll likely be donning kelly green shiny beads at some point during the day — forget about making a classy fashion statement and opt for a bit of comfort.
  5. There is no denying that Parade Day is a Sunday Funday unlike any other in Southie.  And I don’t think any of the visually present police officers have a burning desire to kill our buzzes.  I’d be remiss, however, if I neglected to mention that the public drinking laws are strictly enforced on Parade Day.  I’ve witnessed on numerous occasions $100 – $200 tickets being handed out to passersby who blatantly carried open beer containers along Broadway.  It’s best to keep a low profile (with a travel coffee mug, perhaps?) and remain respectful, especially if asked to dispose of the container.

Hope you have fun and if we bump into each other, please say hi!

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