This weekend, Denver will host the largest St. Patrick's Day Parade this side of the Mississippi. 250,000 people showed up last year, and there's no reason to believe there will be any less mayhem this year. Make sure you know where you're going and when below. Plus, a little video from last year and some more on the festival's populist history to get you in the spirit.
The Parade will celebrate its 49th anniversary with a Forever Green theme. It's not necessarily supposed to connote an environmental agenda -- this isn't a preachy parade. The festivities have their roots in a true St. Patrick's Day tradition: drinking. Half a century ago, a couple people were enjoying a beer downtown and decided they should take to the streets to display their Irish spirit. Since then, it's become one of the best parades in the state, still completely volunteer-run and therefore considerably weirder and more exuberant than, ahem, other Denver holiday parades.
The parade starts at 10:00 a.m. at Blake and Broadway and traverses the ballpark neighborhood, passing by too many bars to count en route to its end in Coors Field Parking. The whole thing lasts three and a half to four hours, and the action should pass the judge's stand between 10:15 and 10:30, at the south corner of Coors Field. The complete route is below.
Fox News had the brilliant idea to hand off a microphone to a wasted reveler to provide commentary on the parade a few years ago. The results were a much better approximation of the experience than the standard b-roll of green-painted kids and marching bands you typically see. Enjoy.
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View St. Patrick's Parade Route Denver 2011 in a larger map