John T. Ridge has been attending St. Patrick’s Day Parades since the 1950s when his immigrant Irish parents first took him to watch the spectacle on Fifth Avenue. For more than 40 years he has been a regular marcher in the ranks and at the same time a careful observer of the parade’s struggles and triumphs in an era of major challenges. As historian for the parade committee, Ridge has combined his insider’s view with years of research in libraries and archives to bring to life a unique picture of New York’s oldest parade. Ridge has also drawn on many years of writing about the New York Irish in periodicals and books as well as some up-close observations from his walking tours of long-vanished Irish neighborhoods in the city. He is a past president and current officer of the New York Irish History Roundtable and a frequent contributor its annual journal of New York Irish History.