A guide to the Wearin’ of the Green St. Patrick’s Day Parade

It’s the parade we wait all year for. One Saturday in March, Baton Rouge is drenched in green.

Streets are cleared to make way for the highly anticipated Wearin’ of the Green St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Crowds line up, eager to watch more than 90 floats, marching bands and walking groups roll by. Homes along the route are decorated with tinsel and shamrocks, and they’re often destinations for pre- and post-parade parties.

Many locals plot their whole weekend around celebrating one of the city’s largest parades. Revelers trade Irish catchphrases and green food and drinks. The music is loud, the vibes are good, and the throws are plentiful.

But the parade is about so much more than beads, according to Pat Shingleton. The former and longtime WBRZ chief forecaster founded the parade in 1986.

“There are people who have reunions on parade day. People who get engaged or married on the route,” Shingleton says. “There are crawfish boils. There are festivities immediately before and after the parade rolls. There are even St. Patrick’s Day events the day before and the day after.”

Since its launch more than 40 years ago, the event has changed local lives—and cemented itself as a fixture of Capital Region culture.

But coordinating the fanfare is no small undertaking.

Here’s how it all comes together—and how to celebrate this year. See you on the route.

Each Wearin’ of the Green krewe shares its own traditions, quirks and personality with the crowds

Mapping the bars, restaurants and attractions along the route

How krewes take floats from plywood frames to parties-on-wheels

Hot Dog from Frankie's Dawg House

Where to find St. Pat’s-inspired dishes during parade week

How to wear the green—no matter the weather or vibe on parade day

Morning 5K takes runners along route

Sidebar sources: The Shingleton family, wearinofthegreen.com, Thrillist and National Geographic Kids

This article was originally published in the March 2023 issue of 225 magazine.