There was a time in my life when Mardis Gras and St. Patty’s celebrations and kids just didn’t mix. But like many activities since life with children, I’ve realized that family versions of both do exist, it’s just a matter of seeking them out. In the case of these annual parties, parades are an obvious kid-friendly route, and there are several happening around the area where the whole clan can revel. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!
Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade
When: Fat Tuesday, March 8, 8pm
Where: Wilson Boulevard from N. Barton to N. Irving Streets
The only area Mardi Gras parade that actually occurs during the holiday happens appropriately on Fat Tuesday. Though it starts on the late side for young kids, it’s a family-friendly event. Floats decorated by local merchants proceed through the Courthouse area. Live music, beads, and people and animals in costume add to the Mardi Gras mix.
Gaithersburg St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: Saturday, March 12, 10am – 12pm
Where: Washingtonian Center (I-370 and Washingtonian Boulevard)
The city’s 11th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will include both traditional Irish performances and classic parade pageantry. Celtic dancers, bagpipes bands, marching bands, clowns, firetrucks, and more will make their way through town. Afterward, stay for live music by the Martin Family Band and other family activities until 1pm.
Washington, DC St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: Sunday, March 13, 12 – 2:30pm
Where: Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets
Dubbed the Nation’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the procession celebrating Irish culture is in its 40th year. The spectacle will travel through the heart of the city, showcasing decorated floats, pipe bands, marching bands, Irish musicians and dancers, military units, clowns, and more. It’s conveniently located so you can pop into a musuem or grab a bit eat in Penn Quarter when it’s over.
Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: Sunday, March 13, 2pm
Where: From Washington Monument to Pratt Street and Market Place
Called the jewel in Maryland’s emerald crown, the Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been making its annual procession through Charm City’s streets for over 50 years. Join thousands of people in downtown Baltimore and the famous Inner Harbor to celebrate Irish culture with music, song, dance, and loads of traditonal pageantry.