NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Find your green, and get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ocean View. The parade is back after the pandemic and weather canceled the event for three years.
56th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Join the Ocean View community to see the decorated floats, marching bands and other entertainment filling the streets.
The route starts at Northside Middle School at the corner of Granby Street and Westmont Avenue. The 1.5-mile route continues on Granby until it takes a left at A View Avenue, and left on First View St. It ends at the intersection of First View and Government Ave.
This year’s Grand Marshal is developer Bruce Thompson. This year they expect more than 50,000 people to attend the parade this year.
“It’s an excuse for a celebration,” said Peter Decker, the Ocean View St. Patrick’s Day Parade MC.
The community has been without the iconic parade for three years.
“COVID got us,” Decker said. “The rain was terrible. We got to be safe for all the children that come out, so this year, there is a lot of excitement in the community.”
After Parade Party
The fun continues after the parade with the After Parade Party with food vendors, refreshments and live music. From noon until 4 p.m., those 21 and over can continue celebrating at the Columbian Club of Ocean View at 211 W. Government Avenue.
Bands this year include:
- Wonderland (Inside)
- Savannah Band (Outside)
Admission to the event is free and it is open to the public.
OV Beach Tavern is having a parking lot party. They’ll have live music, drinks and Irish delicacies.
“We are doing some Corn Beef Rueben specials,” said OV Beach Tavern co-owner Chris Bartnik. Obviously, your Guinness and car bombs.”
You can enjoy the fun starting at 8 a.m.
The parade route will be closed to traffic during the parade.
HRT will be impacted beginning at 9 a.m. until around 1 p.m. Buses will be affected, and delays are expected. For information on road closures impacting HRT, click here.
If you are looking for parking close to the parade route, most adjacent blocks will have on-street parking available to the public. For off-street parking, head to Sarah Constant Beach Park, Ocean View Beach Park, and Ocean View Elementary.
Ahead of the parade, people began parking in the median on Granby Street to reserve spots for the parade.
Friday afternoon, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer issued a statement saying several vehicle owners were ticketed by mistake and that the issue will be resolved.
The parade began in Ocean View in 1968. Peter Decker III joined WAVY Digital Desk Host Sarah Goode in this week’s Community Chat to speak about what to expect this year and the parade’s long history. Watch in the player below.
Decker shared the story from the first parade. On St. Patrick’s Day in 1968, members from the Catholic Charity, Knights of Columbus, from the Holy Trinity Parish, were in Ocean View. To celebrate the day, they decided to grab brooms, trash can lids, pots and pans, and whatever they could find, and went around the block.
Over the last 56 years, the parade has continued to grow. It is a special event in Hampton Roads, attracting thousands each year.
Past Grand Marshals include Virginia governors, government officials, community leaders, and local figures.
Decker and his law partner, Martin Thomas, Sr. serve as emcees for the event. It’s a role Decker said he took over from his father. He has now been an emcee for 15 years.
For more information on the parade, click here.