Now in its 38th year, this month’s storied Wearin’ of the Green parade is one of Baton Rouge’s most beloved events. And for regulars, it’s full of familiar rituals. Families head to the same spots to vie for beads. Friends attend the same fêtes thrown by route dwellers. Others head to favorite watering holes along Perkins Road.But while the return to well-worn activities makes the St. Patrick’s Day parade special, there are still plenty of fresh ways to take it in. Keep things new with the following ideas.
1. Sneak a peek.
This year’s parade features 90 units, says organizer Michael Shingleton, including up to 15 bands, the Budweiser Clydesdales, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, groups on foot and, of course, floats bedecked in garish green. See them line up down Hundred Oaks and Glenmore avenues at 7 a.m.
The 5K Shamrock Run, now in its fourth year, starts behind Moreau Physical Therapy at 8 a.m. and leads runners along Perkins Road and around City-Brooks Community Park. The benefit for Baton Rouge Green is a great way to earn your green beer.
3. Sample new eateries.
The parade’s romp through the Perkins Road Overpass District is a reminder to visit spots that have opened since this time last year, including Gail’s Fine Ice Cream, Unleaded BBQ and Zee Zee’s.
4. Keep the party going.
The parade’s terminus at Perkins and Acadian brings energetic fans to Uncle Earl’s, home to Earlapalooza, which has gotten bigger and better in recent years. Festivities include live outdoor music (rap star Nelly performed in 2022), dancing and plenty to eat and drink. The fun cranks up around noon.
5. Go green.
After a successful day catching beads, recycle your haul at the Salvation Army, which refurbishes and sells beads to support its anti-poverty programs. You’ll be doing good while also keeping beads out of landfills.
This article was originally published in the March 2023 issue of 225 magazine.