If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the luckiest day of the year, look no further than the Hilton Head St. Patrick’s Day Parade! The South Carolina Lowcountry may not be the same as an authentic Irish moor, but it’s the perfect place to celebrate nonetheless. Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about this popular and long-standing tradition. Don’t forget to access our complimentary Vacation Guide for more local event, food, and activity recommendations!
Your Guide to the Hilton Head St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The “Hilton Head Ireland” St. Patrick’s Day Parade is more than just another celebration of Irish culture. Though not as large as the nearby Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this festive event is the oldest of its kind in the state of South Carolina. The first parade was organized in 1983 by local business icon Tom Reilley. Since then, it has become a holiday tradition (and good luck charm!). Today, the parade caters to over 25,000 spectators (more than half of Hilton Head’s local population). In 2002, the event ranked among the Top 20 Tourism Events in the Southeast!
What You’ll See
Ever year, Hilton Head Island’s Pope Avenue comes alive with a boisterous display of Irish cheer! There are always plenty of creative floats assembled by local businesses, high school and university marching bands, pipe and drum bands, a procession of local dignitaries, and much more. In the past, there have been special appearances by the Budweiser Clydesdales, U.S. Military jet pilots, Nashville recording star Michelle Murray, and even the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile!
How to Prepare for This Year’s Parade
For locals, Hilton Head’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the official beginning of spring. If you’re searching for a fun way to welcome the season, there’s no better way to do it! Attending any parade requires some degree of prior planning. We recommend thinking about:
- Where to set up lawn chairs or stand and watch
- The parade route (it begins at the south end of Pope Avenue near Coligny Circle and ends at Park Plaza on Office Park Road)
- Road closures (check local news the morning of the parade)
- Where to park (it is best to carpool, but there is parking on New Orleans Road).
The parade will take place between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). We recommend getting to your chosen viewing spot at least 45 minutes to an hour early!
Whether you’re planning on spending the entire holiday on Hilton Head or just visiting for the afternoon, you’ll have an unforgettable experience at the Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade (just remember to wear green)! After the fun and festive celebration, return to comfort and luxury at Old Town Bluffton Inn. It’s just 25 minutes away from The Island! The Promenade in Bluffton’s Historic District is the perfect place to escape the post-parade Hilton Head crowds. Whether you’re Irish or not, you’ll feel like the luckiest person in the world when you walk through our ornate foyer and upstairs to your exquisite room. Plush beds, brand new French Heritage decor, and premium amenities (like complimentary beverages at our espresso bar) are just the beginning of your incredible Old Town Bluffton Inn experience.