St. Patrick’s Parade Returns To Atlantic City After Three-Year Hiatus

Written By Stephanie Loder on March 1, 2023 - Last Updated on March 6, 2023
Atlantic City St. Patrick's Day Parade

It seems St. Patrick’s Day 2023 is bringing good luck for anyone who visits Atlantic City.

The luck comes in the form of a St. Patrick’s Day parade with bagpipers on the Boardwalk, special events and giveaways, music, green drinks and Irish food at Atlantic City casinos March 10 through March 18.

It’s no blarney, either. Everything seems to get luckier in Atlantic City as March 17 approaches.

For the first time since 2019, the historic Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is back.

The parade had been canceled for three years in a row due to Covid19 pandemic and other restrictions.

The decades-old St. Patrick’s Parade steps off on the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk for the first time in three years at 1 p.m. March 12. The parade is a tradition in this resort and is complemented by numerous events taking place at Atlantic City casinos.

Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day parade is back

The St. Patrick’s Parade — which also is Daylight Savings Time weekend — features 2023 grand marshals brothers Frank and Joe Dougherty, owners of Dock’s Oyster House, the Knife & Fork Inn, and the Linwood Country Club. The rain date is March 18.

“Everyone is excited,” said parade committee chairman and former state senator James “Sonny” McCullough, who traces his Irish heritage back 100 years in Atlantic City.

McCullough, also a former Egg Harbor Township Mayor, reminded the parade is called the St. Patrick’s parade since the event date of March 12 happens before St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

McCullough is credited with reaching out to city Mayor Marty Small to make the parade happen. “We support all cultures here in Atlantic City and we support tradition,” said Small on Feb. 21 at the Boardwalk press conference.

McCullough told PlayNJ that as soon as news of the parade was announced he heard from casino officials who were glad the parade was going to happen.

He also heard from many Atlantic County businesses like Chickie’s & Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township, Josie Kelley’s Public Ale House in Somers Point and the Margate Pub in Downbeach, all of which wanted to be in the parade.

“I heard from Mark Giannantonio who is CEO of Resorts and he said he was pleased,” said McCullough, who was then-Egg Harbor Township mayor and co-grand marshal of the parade in 1986 with then-Atlantic City Mayor James L. Usry.

“I’ve been talking about getting this back together for years,” McCullough said.

Atlantic City businesses happy St. Patrick’s parade returning

Giannantonio, president & CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and Casino Association of New Jersey president, praised the return of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“The Saint Patrick’s Day parade is an Atlantic City tradition,” Giannantonio said. “And we’re happy that it’s back after a four-year hiatus.

Giannantonio said business owners will benefit from the parade.

“It brings a large and enthusiastic crowd to the boardwalk and all the businesses, big and small, benefit,” Giannantonio said.

The parade was supposed to be canceled this year for a fourth year in a row, McCullough said.

“I decided we had to do something about this and I called the mayor. He said he would give us any of the tools necessary to make the parade happen,” he said.

Organizer Tim Kelly said at the press conference there is no additional cost to the parade committee for additional police. The only expenses are for insurance, which costs $15,000-$20,000 and costs incurred by marching bands that attend.

The parade was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of covid pandemic restrictions on crowd sizes, and cancelled again in 2022.

The parade will take a 3-mile route from the Irish Pub at St. James Place to Albany Avenue at the Knife and Fork Inn.

There’s still time to register for the parade by visiting acstpatricsdayparade.com and filling out a parade application.

Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day parade special events

But wait, there’s more in store for Atlantic City’s St. Patrick’s Day 2023.

Special events and casino promotions for March 17 range from Irish bagpipers, and Gaelic dancers, to commemorative green necklaces and special green drinks.

There also are a few special rates for staying at casino hotels after St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday and into the weekend.

Here’s a list we’ve compiled of what some Atlantic City casinos have in store for St. Patrick’s Day and the weekend.

  • At Ocean Casino Resort, Nola’s Bar & Lounge offers Irish drink specials like a green “Lucky Charm” Friday, Saturday and Sunday March 17-19.
  • The 88th-annual Son’s of St. Patrick Dinner scholarship fundraiser at Resorts Atlantic City is 6:30 p.m. March 4. The Annual “Man of the Year” Dinner this year honors Stockton University’s President Dr. Harvey Kesselman.
  • Resorts will celebrate everything Irish with bagpipers 4 to 7 p.m. on March 11 and again from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 17. Free St. Patrick’s Day green beads will be handed out all day March 17 at the promotions booth.
  • Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all week at Hard Rock beginning 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting March 11. Hard Rock café offers Guinness & Bacon Jam Cheeseburgers along with Guinness Cheese Fries and pints of  Guinness beer.
  • Casino promotions at Hard Rock include a $200,000 Shamrock Sweepstakes on Friday March 17 and Saturday March 18. Guests have a chance to win $100,000 each day.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Weekend at Bally’s AC means celebrating at The Yard before and after the parade on March 12 with a Corned Beef Special sandwich, plus cocktail & beer specials offered all month long at The Yard and Carousel Bar. St. Patrick’s Day weekend begins at Bally’s AC at 10 a.m. March 16.
  • Tropicana offers green drinks at Gin Rickey’s in The Quarter with live music from 4 to 11 p.m. Off The Edge Dueling Pianos performs at 7 p.m. March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) and the Danny Lynch Duo performs at 7 p.m. March 18.
  • The celebrations start early with Irish food and drinks at The Claridge. The VÜE presents Irish food corned beef and cabbage with Guinness mustard and Irish cocktail specials Irish Whisky and Jameson shots on March 10 and March 17 through 20. The Twenties Italian Bistro offers corned beef hash with green eggs and Irish coffee and an Irish dinner special from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • At Borgata, the American Grill bar and grill menu offers Guinness and Slow Braised Lamb Shank.
  • At Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City you can enjoy a $25 daily breakfast credit at Bobby’s Burgers By Bobby Flay or Coastal Craft Kitchen & Bar with your next stay.
  • Golden Nugget Atlantic City features a Red Breast Whiskey 4-course dinner 6:30 p.m. Thursday March 16 to celebrate St. Patrick. The four courses in include fire roasted oysters, salmon, pork chop and bread pudding. Reservations required at Vic & Anthony’s.
Photo by acstpatricksdayparade.com
Stephanie Loder Avatar
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Stephanie Loder

Stephanie Loder is a freelance writer for PlayNJ. She provides coverage of New Jersey's Atlantic City casinos while also focusing on the beach, boardwalk, and special gaming events. Prior to writing for PlayNJ, she covered Atlantic City government, breaking news, and casinos for The Press of Atlantic City in Pleasantville, N.J.

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