The St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston is back in all its green glory this Sunday, but the party had already started Saturday in Southie, where streets and bars were packed with people.
Watch the parade in South Boston live here.
For many, this year will be their first time.
“First time for all of us to watch this parade, and we’re so excited, we’ve been down since Friday," one man told NBC10 Boston. "We’re having a great time. Boston's the place to be. We love Boston.”
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For others, they consider themselves experienced partiers in the city.
With dry weather in the forecast, Rep. Stephen Lynch told NBC10 Boston organizers are expecting nearly a million revelers to attend the celebration. In past years, the parade has drawn upwards of a million spectators.
The 3.5-mile route begins at Broadway Station on West Broadway and ends at Andrew Square.
Locals say traffic and parking are top of mind.
“Definitely a little concerned with how many people are going to be down here," one person shared. "Already parking’s been a nightmare but it should be a good time.”
“I just hope that if you’re a local you actually get to enjoy the parade and find some parking spots and enjoy the day,” another said.
The MBTA is also advising anyone going to the parade to plan ahead and allow additional travel time due to speed restrictions still in place.
Here are some other reminders for those planning to join the sea of green on Sunday:
- Liquor stores will close at 4 p.m.
- Bars will stop admitting people at 6:30 p.m.
- Bars will stop serving at 7 p.m.
- Bars will close at 7:30 p.m.
Officials have been working to avoid a repeat of last year's parade when a neo-Nazi group hung a "Keep Boston Irish" banner on a barricade along the route.
“We stand up for what’s right, so there may or may not be others who try to hijack that from time to time. We don’t worry about them," Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said. "We are prepared with our public safety officials coordinated across every level of government alongside elected officials."
The mayor added that they're "ready for anything" but that Sunday will be "about the families who come out to watch and the celebration of our history and legacy in this community.”
Lynch said they've had "a series of public safety meetings and conferences with everyone from the MBTA police to the FBI just to make sure that we’ve taken all the precautions that we can to keep people safe."
"It’s going to be a celebration though,” the congressman added.
More on the parade
The South Boston St. Patrick's Day/Evacuation Day Parade is scheduled for Sunday, March 19, at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on NECN and its streaming platforms.
This year, the parade will be back to its full route after shortening it last year in its return after the COVID pandemic. The parade is presented by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council.
CLICK HERE for everything you need to know, including information on how to watch, the best places to watch in person, parade route specifics, parking restrictions, the best way to get there and more!