Since 1762. The New York City St Patrick's Parade marched for the first time in 1762, fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. The Parade is regarded as the most popular of all the Parades in New York City, and honors Saint Patrick - the patron Saint of Archdiocese of New York and Ireland. The New York Parade consists only of marchers and each year hosts some 250,000 marchers and two million spectators. The Parade has many outstanding marching bands from throughout the United States and from all over the world. The Parade is the world's oldest and largest civic parade and celebrates "The Faith of Ireland, Irish heritage and Culture.