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Here's Your Guide to the 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC

By  Nicole Levy and Darinelle Merced-Calderon | February 23, 2017 10:54am | Updated on March 17, 2017 11:27am

 Parade-watchers pose for a photo along the parade route on March 17, 2015.
Parade-watchers pose for a photo along the parade route on March 17, 2015.
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DNAinfo/Lisha Arino

A sea of green shamrocks and leprechauns returns to Fifth Avenue for the city's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17.

This 256-year-old event is considered the largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world, according to volunteer organizers. More than 150,000 people are expected to march before an audience of 2 million spectators.

Here's what we know about it so far:

THE ROUTE

Revelers will march along Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th streets, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., according to organizers. If you'd prefer to watch the parade from home, you can livestream the event on NBCNewYork.com.

THE GRAND MARSHAL

Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, has been named this year's grand marshal. A native of Limerick, Ireland, Dowling is the first hospital head to serve in that role.

THE RULES

• Don't bring pets or mascots into the parade route or the stands. 
• Don't wear costumes or props if you want to sit in the stands.
• NYPD officers will remove anyone acting drunk in public.
• If you bring a backpack or large bag, police officers may search it.

THE FORMATION

Okay parade-goers, now let’s get in formation. The parade’s formation will take place on the following streets:

  • Vanderbilt Avenue between 43rd Street and 46th Street
  • 43rd – 46th Streets between Vanderbilt Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • 47th Street and 48th Street between Park Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • Fifth Avenue between 42nd Street and 44th Street

THE DISPERSAL​

The dispersal of the parade will occur at the following locations:

  • Fifth Avenue between 86th Street and 79th Street
  • 78th Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue
  • 79th – 83rd Streets between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 84th Street and 85th Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue
  • Madison Avenue between East 78th Street and East 86th Street

TRAFFIC AND CLOSURES

Other streets that have been flagged by the NYPD’s traffic advisory for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade include:

  • 62nd Street and 63rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
  • 64th Street between Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue
  • Madison Avenue between 63rd Street and 64th Street 

Street closures will be carried out at the NYPD’s discretion.  

THE COMMUTE BY TRAIN

If you’re commuting to Manhattan for the big parade, the MTA urges you to buy your round trip train tickets in advance. The Long-Island Railroad (LIRR) will operate six extra westbound trains on Friday morning arriving at Penn Station. The Metro-North Railroad will also operate an extra train.

For updates on new train departure times, use the LIRR point-to-point tool or visit mta.info.

THE BOOZE BAN

Leave that irish coffee at home, folks! The MTA has banned alcohol from the LIRR and Metro-North Railroad beginning Friday, Mar. 17 and lasting until 5 a.m. Saturday. The MTA Police Department will enforce the ban and confiscate alcoholic beverages.

BUS DETOURS

The M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M31, M42, M50, M55, M57, M66, M72, M79, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11, Q32 and most Staten Island Express buses will follow a detour around the parade route between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday.

This article will be updated with street closures and more transit information as it becomes available.