See the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Vancouver, March 15

Photo credit: Michellerlee | Flickr

Photo credit: Michellerlee | Flickr

Ready to show your shamrocks with pride? The 11th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will turn downtown Vancouver into a sea of green this Sunday, March 15, with marching bands, dancers and plenty of bagpipes.

The parade marks the climax of CelticFest Vancouver, a 12-day tribute to Celtic culture. The festival includes dozens of music, dance and theatre events at venues around the city, from Celtic rock concerts to guided whisky tastings. (Check out some of the can’t-miss happenings here.)

But the biggest event is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Photo credit: Richard Eriksson | Flickr

Photo credit: Richard Eriksson | Flickr

Organizers estimate that more than 200,000 spectators will line the streets of downtown Vancouver to cheer on some 2,000 participants. Usual suspects include award-winning pipe and drum bands, Scottish and Irish dancers and Celtic musicians. But the parade also features acrobats and stilt walkers, fire and police dogs, vintage cars, mounted horse drill teams and lots of community groups strutting their stuff.

This year’s parade kicks off at 11 a.m. sharp starting at the corner of Howe and Davie Streets. The action then proceeds north along Howe Street for five blocks to Georgia Street. The parade wraps up at the corner of Georgia and Granville Streets.

Photo credit: Michellerlee | Flickr

Photo credit: Michellerlee | Flickr

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Afterward, the party continues at Celtic Village on Granville Street. The blocks between Robson and Nelson Streets will be closed to traffic and turned into a Celtic-themed street party and market. See live music and performances, sample some of the best street eats the city has to offer and check out an array of Celtic wares, from authentic swords to jewelry and clothing. Celtic Village runs 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. (It’s also open on Saturday, March 14, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.).

On parade day, finding a parking spot downtown will take the luck of the Irish, so it’s best to take transit. Check Translink for the best options via Skytrain and bus.

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