HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday is the first day of March meaning we are just a few weeks away from the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race and Parade!

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17th this year. The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race and Parade are always held the Saturday and Sunday of the week of the holiday. This year the road race will be held on Saturday, March 18th and the parade will be held Sunday, March 19th.

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race

The road race is a 10K that attracts more than 7,000 runners each year. To participate in the 10K, you must register ahead of time. Now through March 15, it will cost $35 to register. From March 16 to March 18, it will cost $40 to register. Anyone 18 and under will have to pay $25 to register.

In addition to the 10K, there will also be a two-mile walk for anyone interested in participating, with a $25 registration fee from now through March 15th and $30 between March 16th and March 18th.

Anyone running will need to pick up a bib on Friday, March 17th at the race headquarters at 143 Maple Street. If you are not wearing your bib on race day, you will not receive a time after the race.

Free shuttles will be offered to runners from Holyoke Community College no later than noon on race day and from the Mater Dolorosa School parking lot.

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade History

Since 1952, the City of Holyoke has honored Irish heritage with a parade. The first Grand Colleen and her court that made an appearance in the parade was in 1955 and the tradition continues today.

Leading the parade each year is the Grand Marshal, which is the highest honor. This year the parade will be led by Grand Marshal Jane Coughlin Chevalier. She grew up in Holyoke and has been a member of the Holyoke Parade Committee since 1998 with years of watching her father being involved, who was a Grand Marshal for the parade in 1992.

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Route

This year the parade begins at 11:10 a.m. from the KMart Plaza on Route 5 and typically takes about three hours to go through the city. Road closures typically begin an hour before the start of the parade so plan accordingly!

The parade route goes North on Northampton Street to Beech Street; East on Beech Street to Appleton Street; Southeast on Appleton Street to High Street; North on High Street to Hampden Street.

Where can I park?

There is no designated parking in Holyoke for the parade but there are plenty of side streets along the 2.65-mile-long parade route that will allow on-street parking. There is no parking allowed on the streets of the parade route. Parking is also available at the downtown municipal lots on Suffolk and Dwight Streets for $5 a day.

Can I save a seat along the Holyoke Parade Route?

Due to city ordinance, spectators are not allowed to reserve seating along the parade route until 7:00 a.m. on the Saturday of the parade weekend.

Is the parade ever canceled due to the weather?

We all know the weather in New England is unpredictable near the end of winter… but the parade will march through the City of Holyoke through rain, sleet, and even snow!

Where else can I watch the parade?

If you are unable to attend this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade, 22News will be live-streaming the whole event on our website!