The parade started in 1983 with a dozen or so enthusiastic Irish-Americans marching down Wilmington St. to the delight and curiosity of downtown residents, merchants and shoppers. The parade was organized initially by John McIntyre and Gail Massari. John and Gail kept the parade going and growing until 1988 when John was transferred to Germany. Prior to leaving for Germany they asked Raleigh's Friends of Ireland (FOI) organization to continue the work they started. The FOI board agreed to organize the parade. Frank Mellage became involved with the parade at that time. He served on the Parade committee from 1989-1992 and became Chairman of the committee for the 1993 St. Patrick's Day Parade. In 2000 an independent Raleigh Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee was formed with members from other local Irish organizations. Frank continued as Committee Chair until 2012, and now the Chair is held by Dianne Enright who served on the Committee under Frank since 2001. The 2023 Parade will be the 39th!
The parade will go on rain or shine. Parade route starts at the corner of E. Lane St and Wilmington St. It will end at the corner of Lenoir St and S. Salisbury St.