For the first time in years, the Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on the actual holiday, and an estimated crowd of 30,000 will flood Pope Avenue and the surrounding area to get their green on.
“It keeps getting bigger every year,” Lynne Hummell, spokesperson for the event, said.
The Island Packet’s own David Lauderdale will take the center stage as the Parade’s Grand Marshal. The parade kicks off at 3 p.m near the Coligny parking lot.
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The parade started in 1983 as an “inaugural short march by a small group of friends” to a massive community celebration for all ages, stretching across Hilton Head’s south end.
Before you head to the parade, here’s your unofficial guide for parking, parties and everything in between.
Parking is very limited, especially considering the construction along Pope Avenue, so be sure to come early and prepare to walk. Because the Coligny lot is closed for the parade, there is no official public parking for the event
Parade officials recommend starting at New Orleans Road and parking in front of closed businesses (37 New Orleans for example). University of South Carolina Beaufort and Park Plaza on Office Park Road are also good places to start looking.
Hummell recommends getting to the parade around noon or earlier to get a great spot and grab lunch. Pope Avenue will be closed at 2 p.m. to vehicles, so it’s best to get there before to avoid traffic congestion.
☘️ Parade Route
The parade begins near Coligny Circle and ends at Park Plaza. The 1.2-mile route is straight down Pope Avenue, then it will turn on Office Park Road. With all the construction on Pope Avenue, the parade’s starting point might be adjusted, according to the event’s Facebook page.
☘️ What’s different this year?
The Budweiser Clydesdales will unfortunately not be making an appearance at the parade, Hummell said.
But there is still plenty to get excited for. The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile and the Mr. Peanut float will make special appearances at the parade, along with cool cars, marching bands, adoptable dogs and more.
☘️ Where to party
Hilton Head’s entire south end comes alive Sunday for the parade, with just about all of the big restaurants and bars along Pope Avenue host their own parties. Here are a few places with live music to check out:
- Wild Wing Cafe (Bag Pipers, Deas Guys, Groove Town Assault, and DJ RACE)
- Al’s Aloha Kitchen (Zach Stevens)
- Sandbar Beach Eats (Pretty Darn)
- Coligny St. Patrick’s Day (Matt Brantley Band)
- Local Pie St. Pat’s Party (Yannie, Bobbie M and Eric Reid)
- FISH (Matt Brantley Band)
- Rockfish with music by (Sillicone Sisters and Something from Nothing)
- Reilley’s Grill and Pub (Free Shotz and the Single Husband’s Club).