Held on the streets of New York since 1762, the New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade and Festival
is billed as the oldest and largest parade in the Western Hemisphere. The event is a true spectacle, with
more than 150,000 participants marching in the parade and more than 2 million spectators lining the streets of 5th Avenue.
A unique aspect of the parade is that all participants are on foot ... everyone marches, including civic groups, dignitaries and of course the bands.
There are no floats, no motorized vehicles, no balloons. For this reason the committee says marching bands are the most important part of the
parade because they set the pace and provide a cadence for the march.
Live Webcast: View the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17 at 11 AM (Eastern) at NYCStPatricksParade.org.
The 2014 parade lineup featured more than 150 bands, including 65 high school marching bands from 17 states, plus bagpipe bands, NYPD and FDNY bands, military bands and college bands.
Bands are judged and trophies are awarded in two classes based on band size (100 members or more, less than 100 members). Professional judges are provided by the
Eastern Marching Band Association (EMBA) and judging takes place at two points along the parade route: near 64th Street in the NBC Television zone and also at St.
Patrick's Cathedral. Trophies and participation awards are sent to each band after the parade ... due to the large number of entries it takes a day to compile the results.
The parade committee is continuously looking to invite new high school marching bands from across the United States.
The 2014 parade featured marching bands from 17 U.S. states, plus Guatemala, Ireland and Spain. Band sizes range from 60 members to more than 300 members.
Band applications for the 2016 parade will be processed on a rolling basis, and the committee will extend invitations throughout the year until the lineup is full.
The parade is televised live in a four-hour broadcast produced by host station NBC 4 New York (WNBC). The parade
can also be viewed live online through a webcast on the parade's website at NYCStPatricksParade.org and NBC 4's website at nbcnewyork.com.
Sixty-five high school marching bands from 17 states were among the more than 150 bands participating in the 2014 parade:
Aquinas H.S. Band, Bronx, NY
Archbishop Molloy High School Pipes and Drums, Briarwood, NY
Archbishop Stepinac H.S. Band, White Plains, NY
Baldwin H.S. Band, Pittsburgh, PA
Bishop Hendricken H.S. Band, Warwick, RI
Bishop Kearney H.S. Band, Brooklyn, NY
Bishop Moore Catholic H.S. Black & Gold Brigade, Orlando, FL
Blue Springs South H.S. Band, Blue Springs, MO
Boca Raton H.S. Band, Boca Raton, FL
Brentwood H.S. "Green Machine" Marching Band, Brentwood, NY
Brewster H.S. Band, Brewster, NY
Cairo-Durham H.S. Marching Mustang Band, Cairo, NY
Cardinal Hayes H.S. Band, New York, NY
Cardinal Spellman H.S. Band, Bronx, NY
Cathedral H.S. Band, New York, NY
Christian Brothers Academy Regimental Marching Band, Albany, NY
Cohoes H.S. Band, Cohoes, NY
Connetquot H.S. Band, Bohemia, NY
Dover Plains H.S. Band, Dover Plains, NY
Eastport-South Manor H.S. Band, Manorville, NY
Emerson H.S. Band, Emerson, NJ
Harrison H.S. Band, Harrison, NY
Immaculate Heart of Mary H.S. Band, Still River, MA
Jackson Liberty H.S. Band, Jackson, NJ
Jackson Memorial H.S. Band, Jackson, NJ
Londonderry H.S. Band, Londonderry, NH
Middletown H.S. Band, Middletown, NJ
Montour H.S. Band, McKees Rocks, PA
Mother Cabrini H.S. Band, New York, NY
Msgr. Farrell H.S. Band, Staten Island, NY
Neptune H.S. Marching Band, Neptune, NJ
New Milford H.S. Band, New Milford, NJ
New Utrecht H.S. Band, Brooklyn, NY
North Babylon H.S. Band, Long Island, NY
Northgate H.S. Band, Newnan, GA
Oak Hill H.S. Band, Oak Hill, OH
Onteora H.S. Band, Boiceville, NY
Ossining H.S. Band, Ossining, NY
Paramus Catholic H.S. Marching Paladins, Paramus, NJ
Park Ridge H.S. Band, Park Ridge, NJ
Pelham H.S. Band, Pelham, AL
Pomperaug H.S. Band, Southbury, CT
Port Richmond H.S. Band, Staten Island, NY
Portsmouth H.S. Band, Portsmouth, RI
Randolph-Macon Academy Band, Front Royal, VA
Regis H.S. Band, New York, NY
Richfield H.S. Band, Richfield, NJ
Riverview H.S. Band, Sarasota, FL
Robert Moses Junior H.S. Band, North Babylon, NY
Salesian H.S. Band, New Rochelle, NY
Seaford H.S. Marching Band, Seaford, NY
Sewanhaka H.S. Band, Elmont, NY
St. Francis Prep H.S. Pipe and Drum Corps, Fresh Meadows, NY
St. Raymond School Band, East Rockaway, NY
Stratford H.S. Band, Stratford, CT
Sun Valley H.S. Band, Monroe, NC
United South Central H.S. Band, Wells, MN
Verrado/Agua Fria H.S. Band, AZ
Vernon Township H.S. Band, Vernon, NJ
West Milford H.S. Band, Milford, NJ
Western Alamance H.S. Band, Elon, NC
Westfield H.S. Band, Westfield, IN
Whippany Park H.S. Band, Whippany, NJ
Xaverian H.S. Pipe Band, Brooklyn, NY
Xavier H.S. "Blue Knights" Cadet Band, New York, NY
Bands often take advantage of additional performance and educational opportunities during their visit to New York City.
Some of the activities that bands have included on their itineraries are:
• Attending a Broadway show at one of the many theatres in New York City
• Attending a performance at a legendary music venue such as Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall or Lincoln Center