Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style at the 2020 St. Augustine St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 14, at 10 a.m. This is the only St. Patrick’s Day parade in Northeast Florida!
Not only will the parade have floats, marching bands, pipes and drums, horse-drawn carriages, military units, and local community groups, it will also feature our very own Sisters of St. Joseph, who were chosen to lead the parade for their contributions to the community. Specifically, they were chosen for their hard work in running the Father Miguel O’Reilly House.
The O’Reilly House is the oldest house on the oldest street in the oldest part of the oldest city in the United States. The house, named for Irish priest Miguel (Michael) O’Reilly who supervised the construction of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, was built around 1691 and was given to the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1866. Father Miguel O’Reilly wanted his house used for education. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Le Puy, France arrived in St. Augustine at the request of Bishop Verot to bring education to newly emancipated slaves. November 1866 witnessed the opening of the O’Reilly House as the first school for African American boys in St. Augustine.
The O’Reilly House has been under the care and ownership of the Sisters of St. Joseph since 1866. The unique history of the house and its usage is such an important part of the history of St. Augustine that the Sisters opened it for a museum in 2002. The house is operated and maintained by the Sisters. They have a wonderful group of volunteers that assist them in sharing the faith and the good works of their congregation.
Grand Marshal of the parade will be Sister Bernard Joseph, curator of the Sisters of St. Joseph O’Reilly House Museum. The Sisters of St. Joseph will also be represented in the parade by Sister Kathleen Carr, general superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sister Catherine Bitzer, archivist, and Sister Carol Stovall, a member of the congregation’s leadership team, all of whom will lead the rest of the parade in a carriage.
This is the 420th anniversary of the first St. Patrick’s Day in 1600 and the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the World in 1601. The parade will begin at Francis Field in St. Augustine and will follow the bay front to the Bridge of Lions, take a right down Cathedral Place, and return to its origin via Cordova Street.
This year’s parade judges include Jessica Clark, First Coast News, Sheldon Gardner, St. Augustine Record reporter, Amy Hendrickson, local musician, Shelton Hull, Folio Weekly columnist and Jeff Valin, First Coast News.
For details, visit www.celticstaugustine.com/st-patrick-parade.
Photos from the 2018 St. Augustine St. Patrick’s Day Parade by Danielle Fountain.Print