Around the turn of the century the sixth ward in Allentown was the heart of the Irish community. There was a Young Men's Temperance Society and the Hibernia Fire Company Social Club where many Irishmen belonged for social activities, a number of which took place on or around St. Patrick's Day.
In 1955 a committee of business and political leaders formed a St. Patrick's Day Observance Society. By 1958, the parade was large enough to run from 12th & Hamilton to the Immaculate Conception Church on Ridge Ave.
Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saint of Ireland along with Saints Brigit and Columbia.
The dates of Patrick's life cannot be fixed with certainty but, on a widespread interpretation, he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. He is generally credited with being the first bishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland.