Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


2012 St. Patrick’s Day Festivities Planned

Published March 1, 2012

Mass, live music and the 130th annual parade headline the 2012 St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, sponsored by Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc.

Events begin on Saturday, March 10, with the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta Black Tie Ball, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Druid Hills Golf Club, Atlanta. The ball will feature dinner, music and live entertainment.

On Thursday, March 15, the celebration continues with the St. Patrick’s Day Mass at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of Christ the King, celebrated by Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and priests of the archdiocese. Following the Mass will be a reception in Kenny Hall featuring Irish food and performances by local Irish step dancing schools.

The annual memorial Mass in honor of Father Thomas O’Reilly, a founder of the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta, will be celebrated at the Shrine of Immaculate Conception the next day, Friday, March 16. A tour of the shrine and crypt will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the Mass at

12:10 p.m. The memorial wreath-laying for Father O’Reilly will follow at the northeast corner of the Old Atlanta City Hall.

The 130th Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, held this year on Saturday, March 17, is an annual event in downtown Atlanta to celebrate Irish culture in Atlanta. The 2012 parade marks the 154th anniversary of the first Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The parade is open to the public and welcomes all spectators and participants.

This year the St. Patrick’s Day parade will feature the procession of a 40-foot balloon of St. Patrick as well as the largest Irish walking flag, which measures more than 4,000 square feet. It will be carried down Peachtree Street by parade volunteers.

The parade will start at 12 noon at the intersection of Ralph McGill Boulevard and Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. It will continue south on Peachtree Street toward Woodruff Park, and will conclude at Five Points at approximately 1:30 p.m.

The parade will be led by Grand Marshal Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Special guests include U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Liam O’Connor, Irish celebrity musician, will also be participating in the parade. A festival celebrating Irish heritage will follow the parade in the Old Macy’s Building at 200 Peachtree St., Atlanta, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

The parade is produced by the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc., a group of representatives from Atlanta’s Irish heritage organizations including the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Clan Na nGael, Firefighters Emerald Society of Metro Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Police Emerald Society and the Irish Chamber. The foundation is chaired by Dave Fitzgerald.

Finally, Irish musician Liam O’Connor will be hosting a concert at the Buckhead Theatre at 7 p.m. the evening of March 17. Tickets are available through Ticket Alternative.