Rules & Regulations

How to enter
Applications must be postmarked (not delivered) no later than January 6, 2017, but the sooner the better. There is no entry fee; however, financial support is welcome (see form). Financial donations to the Parade have no bearing on acceptance into the Parade and/or the awards competition judging. You will be notified by mail in early March whether the Committee has accepted your unit(s). The Theme of the 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade is "The 175th Anniversary of the Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade"

Weather, of course, is a major factor in staging the Parade. The Committee is well aware of its responsibilities to participants and spectators alike. When weather conditions threaten, the Committee will use sound judgement, based on up-to-date weather information, in deciding whether to stage or postpone the Parade.

If postponed because of inclement weather, the Parade automatically is rescheduled for  Sunday March 19, 2017 and all units should indicate on their application if they will be available on that day to take part. Please answer the application form question about availability of your unit(s) to be in a rescheduled Parade. All broadcast media will be notified to announce any postponement, and band directors will be called individually.

If weather is in doubt, please do not try to call the Committee. Instead, please listen to the broadcast media for the announcement.

Rules you must observe
  • Revised for 2017 Parade Cycle
  • Committee entry permit (coordinator’s ribbon) must be shown at all times. 
  • Parade participants are required to wear uniforms or coordinated attire within each unit. Inappropriate dress will not be permitted. 
  • Proper and legal conduct of Parade participants is required. 
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at the Parade by law. Violators can be arrested. 
  • The parade staging area and parade route is exclusively reserved for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Any event, including tailgating, that disrupts the staging of the parade is not permitted. 
  • The following vehicles are permitted in the parade: 
    • Parade Committee Honoree vehicles. 
    • Vehicles used to pull floats. 
    • Classic / antique automobiles made prior to 1964. 
    • Fire, Police, EMS, and other emergency / safety vehicles as approved by the Committee. 
    • Military vehicles as approved by the Committee. 
    • The Committee reserves the right to grant special permission for novelty vehicles not meeting one of the above criteria to participate in the Parade. 
    • Support vehicles are not permitted in the parade.
    • All vehicles must have proof of insurance in compliance with Ohio laws.
    • All vehicles must be in good working order.
    • Every vehicle must display the current year's hang-tags from the rearview mirror in order to enter the staging area and parade route. 
  • Every float must conform to the description submitted with the application, and shall be completely decorated. Floats shall comply with the Parade theme to be eligible for an award. Pull vehicles are permitted to be undecorated or may be decorated to match the float theme. 
  • No more than two persons may occupy any vehicle towing a float or novelty; no more than four may occupy an antique auto, or other novelty vehicle. 
  • No advertising is allowed. Unit sponsors may display their names and greetings only. Units or signs stating “Vote for ...”, “Elect ...”, “Shop at ...”, “We support …” or similar wording will be removed from the Parade by the Committee’s Parade marshals, and will result in possible suspension from future Parades. 
  • Music must be (1) live, non amplified music; (2) live, amplified Irish music; or (3) prerecorded amplified Irish music. Use of amplified music must be noted on the parade application, and approved by the Committee prior to the Parade. Bands using amplification will be disqualified from competition. 
  • Throwing or distributing candy, novelty items, etc. from your unit/float to spectators or other units is prohibited; and will result in disqualification in competitions and suspension from future parades. Unit participants are not permitted to leave the parade route to distribute items on the sidewalk.
  • All units, including those executing drills, must continue moving forward at all times once the Parade starts.
  • Public officials are invited to march in the Public Officials Unit in the Lead Division of the Parade.
  • No advance publicity relating to any individual or unit’s participation in the Parade may be released without the specific approval of the Committee.Animal units must provide a means for animal waste pickup and disposal.
  • The maximum height for vehicles and floats is thirteen feet, eight inches(13' 8")
  • All units must conform to one of the following classifications, and provide a detailed description of the unit with the Parade application.
    • Non-School Band - Organized musicians under the direction of a band leader not affiliated with a grade school, high school, or college/university.
    • School Band - Organized musicians that are affiliated with a grade school, high school, or college/university and are under the direction of a band leader.
    • Bagpipe Band - Organized musicians under the direction of a band leader or Pipe Major, regardless of affiliation.
    • Parade Theme Float - A float portraying the theme of the current Parade. Pull vehicles are permitted to be not decorated or may be decorated to match the float theme.
    • Precision Drill Team.
    • Color Guard / Honor Guard.
    • Marching Unit - A unit consisting of a minimum of four (4) people representing an organization, school, military unit, or other recognized entity.
    • Children’s Unit - A unit consisting solely of children 14 years of age and younger. Chaperones are not considered part of the unit.
    • Novelty - Units including, but not limited to: antique / classic automobiles; horse units; other novelty vehicles with prior written approval from the Committee; bicycle units; theatrical groups; floats with prior written approval from the Committee not conforming with the Parade theme. 
    • Visiting groups are not eligible for category awards but will be recognized for their participation.