Going to the Naples St. Patrick's Day Parade? Here's everything you need to know
Claire Gorman Lewis, co-owner of Celtic Spirit School of Irish Dance, and her sister Cathy have been a part of the Naples St. Patrick's Day parade for 20 years. Lisa Conley, firstname.lastname@example.org; 239-213-5308
The Naples St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of the city's biggest events, drawing upwards of 40,000 attendees annually, and event organizers estimate this year's parade will be the most well-attended one to date, thanks to some A-list celebrities: the Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
"We expect record numbers of people coming out this year due to our very special guests," said Kim Heaslip, president of the Naples St. Patrick Foundation, the nonprofit that organizes the parade.
The parade will start at 11 a.m. on 10th Avenue South and travel north onto Third Street South, then to Fifth Avenue South, before ending on Eighth Street South at Naples City Hall.
The Naples St. Patrick Foundation put on the first Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade 43 years ago. It's the largest privately funded St. Patrick's Day parade in Florida, foundation officials say.
Participate with us: Share your Naples St. Patrick's Day parade photos
The parade was the center of controversy last year when Naples City Council members expressed concerns that it was too big, so event organizers said they worked with city officials to keep the parade from growing.
"We work closely with the city and adhere to their recommendations," Heaslip said. "We have shut down the application process and have had to deny groups in order to maintain the length of the parade."
In case you missed it: Naples City Council considers shrinking St. Patrick's Day parade
The foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to high school music programs and for college scholarships over the past six years.
Naples St. Patrick's Day Parade
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 16
Where: Downtown Naples
Parking: The city suggests parking in the two downtown parking garages. There also are public lots on Eighth Street South at Eighth Avenue South; Fourth Street South at Fourth Avenue South; Seventh Street South at Third Avenue South.
Road closures: Fifth Avenue South will be closed 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Third Street will be closed 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.