The Beach Times

The 2021 Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade in September
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade

The St. Patrick's Day Parade is an institution on Cape Cod, as it provides something to look forward to as winter comes to an end. 

It's also a positive for local businesses, giving tourists a reason to visit the Cape before the summer and providing some income before the busy season begins. 

Of course, the Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade always takes place in March on one of the weekends before or after the big day, but 2021 is offering a slightly different experience. 

Because there were CoViD-19-related shutdowns when the real St. Patrick's Day occurred, organizers planned ahead and booked an alternate date. That plan is going forward, so for one year only, Cape Cod residents and visitors will have the opportunity to celebrate the region's St. Patrick's Day Parade while the weather is warm. 

The 2021 edition of this annual event will happen on September 18, 2021, so if you're planning a late-summer visit to the Cape, booking for that weekend makes a lot of sense. 

Here's a look at what you can expect from this year's parade.

The Details

Like every other year, the 2021 Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade will travel on Route 28 in Yarmouth. The parade begins at the intersection of Route 28 and Long Pond Road and extends through downtown to Higgins Crowell Road.

Visitors and locals alike will begin lining Main Street's sidewalks first thing in the morning on Saturday, September 18, and the parade will start sometime around 8:00. 

The 2020 edition of the parade, which took place mere days before Massachusetts entered a lockdown period, attracted between 65,000 and 70,000 people, and there's a good chance we could see similar crowd sizes this year after 18 months without gatherings.

Who's in the Parade

Traditionally, the Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade is dedicated to the area's veterans and first responders. In 2020, a group of veterans drove a Sherman tank through the town's streets, veterans of the Korean War and World War II rode in a trolley, and 100-year-old veteran Freeman Johnson walked the entire two-mile parade route. 

This year's parade is devoted to all the essential workers who kept society functioning during the pandemic. Those being honored include everyone from EMTs, nurses, doctors, police, and firefighters to postal workers, restaurant staff, and grocery store clerks. All essential workers are invited to participate. There will be Clydesdale horses and pipe bands present, too, and there are plans for a flight-over by a Massachusetts State Police helicopter.

Overall, this parade is well worth attending because there's enough going on to keep anyone entertained, and the atmosphere surrounding the event always adds to its allure.

The Impact on Local Businesses

Businesses in Yarmouth and throughout the rest of the Cape were hit hard by the pandemic, and the postponement of the March St. Patrick's Day Parade was yet another setback. Traffic in the community was down by about 90% from the previous March, mainly because the St. Patrick's Day Parade acts as a catalyst for the entire week.

When out-of-town visitors come to the Cape for the parade, they stick around for the entire weekend or longer. As a result, restaurants, bars, and vacation rentals are busier, which is a trend these businesses appreciate. 

Bands and other acts also flock to Yarmouth for the parade and stay for the weekend, playing local bars and creating a festive atmosphere everywhere. 

This parade transforms Yarmouth into a bit of a party zone for the weekend, which is a good thing for these establishments after a long winter.

Visiting For the Parade

As of right now, parade organizers have the green light to go ahead with this event. Of course, the delta variant could cause some issues, but state officials are currently saying the parade is safe to proceed, and visitors can begin planning their accommodation. 

Yarmouth is a fantastic place to book a vacation rental because it features beaches, a bustling downtown, and easy access to other parts of the Cape via Route 28 and the Mid-Cape Highway.

Even if you don't end up booking a vacation rental in Yarmouth, it's easy to reach the community from other Cape towns, so you don't have to miss out on the action. 

Things usually start winding down on Cape Cod after Labor Day as the region begins preparing for the fall and winter. However, 2021 is different because of this late St. Patrick's Day Parade, ensuring visitors have another reason to check out the Cape.

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