History of the Parade
The first Saint Patrick's Day parade in Atlantic City was held in 1986. The first parade was organized by Al McMahon, who was the owner of the Circle Tavern in Brigantine and Joe Shields, a bartender who worked at the Surfside in Margate. Inspired by the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Philadelphia and the work of Jimmy Cavanaugh, Al and Joe enlisted the cooperation of tavern owners from The Irish Pub, The Greater Pittsburgh bar, Cassidy's Grille, McGettigan's Saloon, Maynard's, Maloney's to name a few. Members of the Irish Cultural Society and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick also joined the parade.
The original parade route was from New Jersey to Albany Avenues on the Boardwalk and had approximately 1,000 participants. Attendance that day was estimated at 35,000 people.