Maritime industry to be celebrated in Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Published 4:04 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

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The Kelly’s 33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Parade kicks off on Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 1 p.m. in Nags Head, rain or shine. This year’s marshal is Dare County Historical Maritime Industry.

“Commercial fishing has been a mainstay of the areas economy as has boast building. More seafood is landed in Dare County than any other county in North Carolina,” noted the parade announcement. “We are also home to the most thriving boat building industries in the country, building small hunting boats to mid-size commercial vessels and larger sportfishing yachts.” Additionally, stated the announcement, Wanchese Marine Industrial Park a state-owned facility containing all sorts of marine and service businesses, whose objective is to promote the growth and continuation of marine industries in North Carolina.

The one-mile parade route runs from Bladen St. (MP 11.5) north to Driftwood St. on Virginia Dare Trail (Beach Rd.). A panel of judges will score entrants on the use of the parade theme in the following categories: Best Overall; Best Float; Best Unit; and Best Band/Music group. Prizes will be awarded following the parade.

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To participate as a parade entrant, an application will need to be submitted. Parade applications can be downloaded from Contact parade director Mary Ann Newman at or 252-441-4116 to have an application sent to you or to volunteer along the parade route.

“What began as a way to break up the winter doldrums and to invigorate the community in preparation for the summer season, the parade has grown to include over one-hundred entrants and viewed by over ten thousand attendees thus making it the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in North Carolina!” stated the announcement.