March With Us

The TOPS Rochester (NY) St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is pleased that you are joining us for this year’s parade. This is a community-wide event that brings thousands of people to Downtown Rochester annually. For the safety and consideration of all residential and business properties, parade-goers and other participants, please read, understand and comply with the following:

Our Mission

The Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a "Moving Show" dedicated to the celebration of St. Patrick, and his life of service to others. Entrants are encouraged to display the shamrock, to remind viewers of how St. Patrick used it to explain the mystery of the Trinity; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Parade entries shall be fun, entertaining,family oriented and crowd pleasing. The parade takes place on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, or on St. Patrick's Day when it falls on a Saturday.


Line-up begins at approx 11:30 am on Saturday, March 17, 2018. Parade begins promptly at 12:30 pm. Please do not trespass on residential property during the parade formation process. Respect your neighbors. If you damage any property, your group will be held responsible for costs incurred as a result.

Parade Route

The Parade officially begins at East Avenue and Alexander Street, then starts down East Avenue to Main Street, turning left onto Main Street, proceeding west down Main Street, past the reviewing stand located just west of the Rochester Riverside Hotel, and ending at Fitzhugh (then continuing on until dispersing in an orderly manner at the direction of the Parade Marshals and the Rochester Police Department). Parade Marshals will be available the day of the Parade to assist you.


Units will receive an instruction sheet with their line-up packet for official formation details. Be sure to have a copy of the instruction sheet with you on parade day. Please keep your group in your assigned location. To avoid confusion, tell all of your group participants what your division and line-up street is and where the parade begins. Any unit arriving late will be placed at the end of the parade. We will also post the line-up information on our new website: www.rochesterparade.com. 


IMPORTANT - Any parade entry (that includes a vehicle) is limited to ONLY ONE VEHICLE. With the new route and staging  area changes, there are space concerns. ANY ADDITIONAL VEHICLES WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGING AREA AND WILL NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE PARADE - NO EXCEPTIONS.


This is a family event and we expect that dignity will be preserved by the enforcement of all rules and regulations as outlined herein, and officials will be strict in their interpretation thereof. No Vulgar, Non-family-friendly Signage, Clothing, Music, etc will be allowed. No alcoholic beverages or illegal substances will be allowed on or near any vehicle or to be used by any parade participant. Violation of this rule will automatically result in the removal of your unit from the parade and possible banning from future events.

Safety Agreement

Throwing or selling of candy, beads, or any items from vehicles, floats, marchers, or participants along the parade route is prohibited. This creates a dangerous situation for youngsters running into the road and the potential for serious injury. Your participation in next year’s parade may be denied if your group is identified as having ignored this request.


The awards given out at the TOPS Rochester St. Patrick‚Äôs Day Parade are:  

TOPS Friendly Markets Best in Show
The Robert Nolan Community Service Award (Best Government or Public Service)
The Robert P. Kelly Irish Spirit Award (Best Pipe Band)
The Thomas Fitzpatrick Spirit Award (Floats)
Dance School
Fire Department
Best Commercial Unit
Best Non-Commercial Unit

Floats are judged on the following categories:

Presentation of the parade theme
Crowd engagement/ attention
Creativity/ Originality
Presentation / Performance

Each of these is graded on a scale of 0 to 10. Then they are accumulated for a total score.