St. Patrick’s Day Parade Adopts New Schedule on 45th Anniversary

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The Rotary Club of Winter Park and the Community Redevelopment Agency will present the 45th Annual Winter Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 2. More than 60 organizations and businesses will march through downtown beginning at 9 a.m. with Fr. Richard M. Walsh, Pastor of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, serving as Grand Marshal.

The route will start at the intersection of N. Park and W. Swoope Avenues and proceed south down Park Avenue to Lyman Avenue. This year’s parade marks a permanent departure from its traditional Sunday afternoon schedule, partly inspired by the efficiency of Winter Park’s “Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade” schedule.

Central Florida firefighters traditionally participate with peers from stations across the state.
Model A’s of Greater Orlando is among the participating organizations in Winter Park’s St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas parades.
Due to a scheduling conflict at Central Park Main Stage, Irish dancers who usually perform after the parade will perform on this year’s route.

“It was always difficult to get cars off the avenue on a Sunday afternoon; stores are open, people are downtown,” Rotary President Butch Margraf told the32789. “For the Christmas parade, which starts early in the morning, the police post signs that say, ‘no parking from Friday night,’ so that makes it a lot easier.”

As big as the turnout has been in past years, the new schedule could bring even bigger crowds as Winter Park hosts the only St. Patrick’s Day parade in Central Florida. Margraf says interest in participation remains as robust as ever, especially from one particular group. “Fire departments are big on wanting to be part of this parade and from what I’ve seen of this year’s entries, that’s still true.”

The event will coincide with the Winter Park Farmer’s Market, but post-parade entertainment is preempted due to a conflict with Central Park Main Stage availability. Irish dancers who traditionally perform after the parade will perform dance numbers along the route. “We’ve made arrangements with Parks Department for next year, so going forward we will have the stage,” Margraf said.

The Rotary Club of Winter Park is part of Rotary International; a service organization with more than 1.4 million members in 34,000 clubs that are represented in 200 countries. For more information, go to

For more information on the 45th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, call 407-579-3168, 321-303-5218, or email butchinc@gmail.

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