St. Patrick's Day background with a green hat, bow tie, shamrocks and gold coins

Top attractions to see at this year’s Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Green and grand

Established in 1983 by local entrepreneur Tom Reilley and a close-knit circle of friends and family, the Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade has blossomed into one of the most cherished and eagerly awaited annual events on Hilton Head Island. It proudly holds the distinction of being South Carolina’s oldest parade. Every spring an enthusiastic crowd of over 30,000 gathers along the vibrant thoroughfares of Pope Avenue and Office Park Road to revel in the vibrant procession. Here are the five top attractions coming to this year’s parade, which steps off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 17. 

Best band in the land 

Battery Creek Dolphin Pride Marching Band 

When it comes to high school marching bands, no school brings it like Battery Creek. Their lively band, the Blue Velvet Dancers and the Blue Diamond Flag Troupe are the highlights of every parade they enter, from local parades to some of the biggest parades in the country, including the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois / USA - November 28th 2019: Battery Creek High School Dolphins Musical Marching Band of Beaufort, South Carolina marched in 2019 Uncle Dan's Chicago Thanksgiving Parade.

The ‘mane’ attraction 

Budweiser Clydesdales

One of the most anticipated sights at this year’s parade is the magnificent Budweiser Clydesdales. The majestic horses have been gracing the parade with their elegance on and off since 1989. They have appeared in numerous television commercials, especially memorable during Super Bowl broadcasts, and have become a staple in major events like the Presidential Inauguration parades and the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Budweiser Clydesdales in parade

Tater on tour 

Big Idaho Potato Truck

If you think you’ve seen it all, wait until you see the Big Idaho Potato Truck. This colossal spud on wheels is a testament to Idaho’s proud potato heritage. It’s an eye-catching and surprisingly realistic giant potato, making it a unique and memorable addition to the parade. Whether you’re a fan of potatoes or love quirky attractions, this is a must-see.

WASHINGTON DC-May 25, 2015: Memorial Day Parade participant called the Famous Idaho Potato Tour truck, carrying a prop called the World's Largest Potato on Wheels. Idaho grows 26 types of potatoes.

Heroes in harmony 

Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums

Gaelic cultural heritage inspired the formation of the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes & Drums in 1992 following the tragic death of Officer Jeremiah Hurley in a bomb explosion. Initially formed to fill a void in local police pipe bands, the column of Boston police officers quickly evolved, becoming a prominent presence at cultural events and parades including the Ryder Cup and collaborations with the Dropkick Murphys.

Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums

The top dog 

Oscar Meyer Wienermobile

Adding a touch of whimsy and nostalgia, the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is sure to bring smiles to faces of all ages. This roving hot dog on wheels is an American icon, instantly recognizable with its bright colors and unique shape. It’s not just a vehicle; it’s a pop culture icon that has captured the hearts of many. Keep your cameras ready for this one-of-a-kind spectacle.

Plymouth, Wisconsin USA - May 27, 2019: Oscar Mayer's famous promotional wiener wagon is an icon of American advertising. This is a photo of a replica, driving on a rural road.

Parade details

When: 2 p.m., Sunday, March 17

Where: Pope Avenue and Office Park Road, Hilton Head Island

Parade prep: Arrive early and be prepared for a bit of a walk, as the Coligny lot is unavailable due to parade activities, and there’s no designated official public parking for the event. A good strategy is to look for parking spaces in the lots of businesses along New Orleans Road that are closed for the day. Aiming to be at the parade by noon is advisable not only for securing a prime viewing spot but also to enjoy a leisurely lunch. The parade route is dotted with a variety of local businesses and organizations offering delicious options through mobile food trucks and tents. Many of the prominent restaurants and bars in the vicinity throw their own celebratory parties. Hot spots include Rockfish, Aunt Chilada’s, The Bank, Sandbar Beach Eats and Reilley’s Grill and Pub. 

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