City gearing up for 2019 Rochester St. Patrick's Day Parade

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Irish eyes will be smiling in anticipation for the 42nd Annual Tops Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (WHAM file photo - 2016)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The City of Rochester is gearing up to see green this weekend as preparations get underway for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

The 42nd Annual Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The parade will be sponsored by Tops Friendly Markets this year.

The theme this year is "Trinity and the Shamrock."

More than 4,000 people are expected to march in this year's parade with over 130 entries. Tens of thousands of people crowd along the parade route each year, which will begin at the corner of East Avenue and Alexander Street, stream down Main Street and come to an end at Main and Fitzhugh Streets.

Staging areas for people marching and riding in the parade will be located on East Avenue between Alexander Street and South Goodman Street, as well as on several side streets in that area.

The streets below will be closed and used as staging areas:

  • East Avenue between Union Street and Goodman Street
  • Alexander Street between Park Avenue and Charlotte Street
  • Sibley Place at East Avenue
  • Meigs Street between Park Avenue and East Avenue
  • Arnold Park from East Avenue to Park Avenue
  • Strathallan Park from East Avenue to University Avenue
  • Prince Street between East Avenue and College Avenue

Those roads will be closed from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

As a way of honoring their 200th anniversary, the Rochester Police Department will serve as Grand Marshall of the parade. Additional police will be present along the parade route for enhanced security.

"The 200-year history had many Irish immigrants that served in those ranks," said Deputy Mayor James Smith. "And I think one of the reasons the Irish were so successful at careers in law enforcement was because they had that ability of empathy and compassion. They understood what it was like to be an immigrant in a foreign land. They were compassionate for those that faced challenges. They excelled at that."

A list of honorees have already been designated for the parade, including:

  • Community Organization of the Year – Daystar Kids
  • Citizen of the Year – Mark Dowdell
  • Community Leader of the Year – Dermont Loughran
  • Business Leader of the Year – Salvatore "Soccer Sam" Fantauzzo.
  • Honorary Marshal – Eamon O’Cuiv
  • In Memoriam Honorees – Muriel “Mert” Davenport and Jack Nolan
  • Ambassador to Waterford - Jessica Opett

The parade route will close at 12 p.m. and reopen after the parade finishes at 3:30 p.m.

Free parking will be available at the Mortimer Street and Sister Cities parking garages, while the East End garage will be free until 5 p.m.

The Court Street parking garage is not free.

More information about the parade and events going on throughout the day can be found on the parade website.