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Best NYC Parades

St. Patrick's Day to Thanksgiving Day, everyone loves a New York City parade

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New York City hosts parades throughout the year, and while you can catch many of them on TV, there's nothing like experiencing them in person! We've put together this list of the best NYC parades to help you include one in your vacation.

1. St. Patrick's Day Parade

Traditional Plaid Kilt & Bagpipe in the Parade
Dan Cross

Unlike other NYC Parades, there are no vehicles, floats or balloons in the St. Patrick's Day Parade, but it is often touted as New York City's largest and most popular parade. Over 150,000 people participate in the parade and nearly 2 million spectators are expected to line the parade route every year.

NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade Date: March 17
NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade Location: Fifth Avenue from 44th - 79th Streets
Photos: 2002 St. Patrick's Day Parade | 2006 St. Patrick's Day Parade

2. NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade

Mickey Mouse Balloon at the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
Dan Cross

Probably the most famous NYC parade, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is truly an amazing parade to experience in person. The balloons over head, the marching bands performing and the celebrity-studded floats traveling down Central Park West make for a memorable only-in-NYC experience.

NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade Date: Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade Route: Begins at 77th Street & Central Park West; ends at 7th Avenue & 34th Street
Photos: 2009 Thanksgiving Parade Photos | 2000 Thanksgiving Parade Photos

3. Lunar New Year Parade

Lunar New Year Parade
Heather Cross

Featuring elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances galore, Asian musicians, magicians, and acrobats over 5,000 people participate in New York City's Lunar New Year parade.

NYC Lunar New Year Parade Date: Sunday after Chinese New Year
NYC Lunar New Year Location: throughout Chinatown along Mott, Canal, and Bayard and East Broadway.
Photos: NYC Lunar New Year Parade Photos

4. Village Halloween Parade

Skeleton Puppet in Halloween Parade
Dan Cross

New York City's only nighttime parade, the Village Halloween Parade, has been a New York City tradition since 1973. The parade features costumed marchers, bands, floats, cars and life-sized puppets. Anyone in costume can join in the parade, and whether you're participating or just watching, it's a fun and unique way to celebrate Halloween.

NYC Halloween Parade Date: October 31
NYC Halloween Parade Location: Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 23rd Street
Photos: NYC Halloween Parade Photos

5. NYC Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival

Extravagant Easter Bonnet in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral
Heather Cross

A little more free-form than most NYC Parades, the Annual Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival is a bit of a street festival, where folks doning elaborate Easter bonnets wander a cordoned off stretch of Fifth Avenue.

NYC Easter Parade Date: Easter Sunday
NYC Easter Parade Location: Fifth Avenue from 49th - 57th St
Photos: NYC Easter Parade Photos

6. Puerto Rican Day Parade

New York Puerto Rican Day Parade
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

The Puerto Rican Day Parade honors both the four million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and the four million residents of the United States of Puerto Rican birth and descent.

NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade Date: second Sunday in June
NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade Location: Fifth Avenue from 44th Street - 79th Street

7. New York Dance Parade

Since it began in 2007, the New York Dance Parade has provided both an outlet and a celebration of dance in all forms. The New York Dance Parade represents dance from a wide variety of eras and cultures and concludes with a Dance Fest in Tompkins Square Park.

NYC Dance Parade Date: second Sunday in June
NYC Dance Parade Location: Broadway at 21st Street to University Place at 14th to St. Mark's Place to Tompkins Square Park

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