Buffalo St. Patrick's Day Parade, 1946. Photo courtesy United Irish-American Association of Erie County
Buffalo St. Patrick's Day Parade
Each year, thousands of people flock to downtown
Buffalo to enjoy the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. The city
decorates every light pole along the Delaware Avenue parade route
with the tri-color flag of Ireland. Businesses along the parade
route sprinkle shamrocks on their windows, and stretch banners
wishing a "Happy Saint Patrick's Day."
First held on March 17, 1913, when a group of
Buffalo's Irish immigrants decided to manifest their allegiance to
both their native and their adopted countries, the Buffalo St.
Patrick's Day Parade pays tribute to the patron saint of Ireland.
First Parade Marshal Mike Quinn led a group of 5,000 marchers from
the Elk Street Market Terminal to Euclid Place and back in sub-zero
temperatures. After a hiatus from 1917 - 1935, the parade has been
held every year since 1935, with the exception of World War II
years (1942-45). The Parade was postponed for a week only once, in
1997, when more than 18 inches of snow fell and wind chills of 30
below threatened frostbite.Today four generations have worn the top
hat, worn cutaways, and carried the blackthorn that belonged to
Mike Quinn. Today the parade is always held the Sunday closest to
St. Patrick's Day (March 17).
The United Irish-American Association works with the
city of Buffalo each year to organize the parade, and each year the
UIAA selects a grand marshal from among its members. The parade
route was moved from Main Street to Delaware Avenue in 1981 to
allow for more spectators.
Originally submitted by: Jack Quinn ,Representative (30th District).
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