NEW JERSEY - St. Patrick's Day is almost here. While not a legal holiday in the United States, March 17 is nevertheless widely celebrated across the Garden State. Many towns host annual parades in the weekends leading up to and directly following the day when not just Irish eyes are smiling. Some parades are billed as 'The Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade' while others go all out.

Newark plays host to the oldest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the state and will be holding its 81st this year while others like Asbury Park held their first back in 2014. Belmar's St. Patrick's Day always brings out the green on the first Sunday in March and has the distinction of being New Jersey's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade. To accomodate the masses that head to the shore for this one, NJ Transit runs extra trains.

The most time-honored and publicized parade is held across the Hudson in NYC along Fifth Avenue on St. Patrick's Day and will be televised on NBC beginning at 11 a.m. However, for a little Irish pride closer to home, pick from the list of New Jersey St. Patrick's Day Parades.

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Friday, March 11

  • Newark St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. outside of the Prudential Center on Mulberry Street and moves toward the Gateway Center
  • Matawan's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade - 6 p.m. at 176 Jackson Street

Saturday, March 12

  • Ocean County St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at noon on the Boulevard in Seaside Heights
  • Morris County St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at noon in Morristown on the corner of South and James Street
  • North Wildwood St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration - 11:30 a.m. at City Hall on 901 Atlantic Avenue
  • Hamilton St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. at the Nottinghan Fire Company at 200 Mercer Street in Hamilton Square
  • Keyport St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. at St. Joseph's Church on Maple Place
  • Union County's St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at noon at the corner of Morris and Stuyvesant Avenues in Union Township
  • Atlantic City St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. at Garden State Pier
  • South Amboy St. Patrick's Day Parade - 2 p.m. at South Pine Avenue, rain date is March 19
  • Sea Isle City St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration - begins at 3:30 p.m. on Landis Avenue from 83rd to 63rd Streets; celebration to follow at Kix McNutley's on 63rd Street

Sunday, March 13

  • Hackettstown St. Patrick's Day Parade - 3:30 p.m. on Main Street
  • Freehold St. Patrick's Day Parade - 12 p.m. at Freehold Borough Hall of Records on Main Street
  • Asbury Park St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. at Fifth and Ocean Avenue
  • Rumson St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. at River Road and First Street
  • West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade - 12:15 p.m. at Town Hall on Mount Pleasant Avenue and Main Street; parade moves north on Main Street
  • Jersey City St. Patrick's Day Parade - 12:30 p.m.at Kennedy Boulevard at Lincoln Park; parade moves toward Journal Square
  • West Hudson St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 2 p.m. at South Third Street and Harrison Avenue in Harrison. This parade also makes its way through Kearny and East Newark
  • Somerville St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1:30 p.m. on Main Street
  • Woodbridge St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1:30 p.m. at Woodbridge High School at 1 Samuel Lupo Place
  • Bergen County St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 2 p.m. on Washington Avenue in Bergenfield
  • Hunterdon County St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 3 p.m. on Main Street in Clinton

Saturday, March 19

  • Highlands St. Patrick's Day Parade - 2 p.m. at Huddy Park on Bay Avenue
  • Sussex County St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 11:30 a.m. on Spring Street in Newton by Stuart Street
  • Robbinsville St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. at the Foxmoor Shopping Center on Washington Boulevard

Sunday, March 20

  • Bayonne St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m. at Broadway and Fifth Street, rain or shine

Saturday, April 2

  • Ringwood St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1 p.m Ringwood Plaza on Skyline Drive, rain or shine

As with any parade, arrive early to stake out the ideal viewing spot. Anyone heading to Belmar's St. Patrick's Day Parade today should plan on an early arrival and definitely pack the patience as well.