On Saturday, March 11, commencing at 12 noon, is the 24th Annual “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade, featuring over 100 marching units, is set to embark from the Valley Community Center. From there, it will wind along South Park Avenue, Smith Street, Elk Street, Hamburg Street, and South Street.
Typically, this parade is bundled into the same weekend as the Downtown parade, but this year things are a bit different. Just like the Downtown Parade, the Old First Ward version includes marching bands, floats, social clubs, classic cars, Irish dancers, family clans, fire and police departments.
After the parade, there are a couple of large “Hooley” events scheduled.
The first event is the traditional grand Irish “Hooley”, with live music, dancing, food and drink. It takes place from 1pm to 5:30pm at the Valley Community Center (93 Leddy Street) in The Valley. The Hooley is open to people ages 21 and up (or accompanied by an adult). This is one of the most sensational Irish festivals in the US, and gathers together friends and family to celebrate an assortment of traditional festivities.
The second “Hooley” celebration following the parade is set to take place at Lakeward Spirits at The Barrel Factory in the Old First Ward. The event also features live music by Tom Keefer and Celtic Cross. There is no cover charge, and four bars will be open. If you haven’t made it to an event at the Barrel Factory, this is the perfect one to experience the space to its fullest. Doors will open at 11:00 AM. The event will feature Lakeward Spirits’ signature “Grain Canyon Vodka”, the newly-released “Evergreen Gin”, a local NYS craft beer selection and NYS wine from Leonard Oakes Estate Winery. Food will be available onsite from Buffalo’s Best Grill & Catering. And don’t forget, the parade passes right by this location!