Milwaukee gets ready for 56th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Milwaukee gets ready for 56th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

The 56th annual Shamrock Club of Wisconsin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Milwaukee is set to captivate downtown this weekend, attracting throngs of attendees. Planning for this grand celebration commences a year ahead, highlighting its significance in the local calendar.

Amid the bustling preparations for the parade, members of the Milwaukee Academy of Irish Dance are eagerly gearing up for their notable performance. Enthusiastic individuals like Sam Babcock, a long-time participant in the academy since 2020, eagerly anticipate the festivities alongside their friends. For Sam, who has graced the parade route twice already, the event holds a special place, resonating with the excitement of competition, dance, and the vibrant array of costumes.

Elyse Transon, the founder of the dance academy back in 2014, underscores the unparalleled allure of Irish dancing. As the parade draws near, the academy’s dancers are engaged in intense rehearsals, honing their skills for the numerous performances scheduled throughout the weekend. Elyse emphasizes the infectious energy and community spirit that permeate the event, with multiple shows lined up on both Friday and Saturday.

The downtown area gears up for the festivities, with entertainment districts primed for a lively atmosphere starting at noon. However, residents and visitors alike should brace for traffic disruptions and parking limitations, with road closures commencing at 10:00 a.m. in the staging area. The parade itself follows a designated route, commencing at 3rd St Market Hall and winding its way through downtown, culminating at Water Street and Highland Avenue.

Stacie Callies, the Executive Director of the Westown Association, sheds light on the logistical intricacies of the event. Over a hundred units, ranging from Irish dance troupes to bagpipers and local dignitaries, are slated to participate in this year’s parade, underscoring its rich tradition dating back to 1843.

The parade’s deep-rooted connection to Milwaukee’s Irish heritage is evident, reflecting a longstanding tradition that resonates with the community. Callies emphasizes the inclusive nature of the event, inviting people from all walks of life to partake in the celebration of Irish culture.

As the city braces for a day filled with Irish revelry, organizers urge attendees to plan their visit accordingly. Temporary street closures and parking restrictions are in place along the parade route, with towing enforced from 7 a.m. on the morning of the event. To alleviate parking concerns, discounted rates are available at designated parking structures, encouraging attendees to opt for alternative transportation options such as ride-sharing services or public transit.

In essence, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Milwaukee promises a vibrant tapestry of culture, camaraderie, and community spirit, uniting residents and visitors alike in celebration.