The Only Parade with a Blessing from the Pope
On January 1 each year, tens of thousands gather in St. Peter’s Square, filling the streets with pageantry and music, to celebrate and receive the Pope’s New Year’s Day blessing. A focal point of Rome’s holiday season and the World Day of Peace, the Rome New Year’s Parade celebrates life, cultural diversity and international goodwill.
The Rome New Year’s Parade is a European-style parade that proceeds along the grand Via della Conciliazione and culminates in St. Peter’s Square. In keeping with the Italian tradition, enthusiastic spectators fall into step alongside bands, showing their appreciation with whistles and waves.
Each year, over 100,000 people from all over the world process to St. Peter’s Square before the Pope’s annual New Year’s address and blessing. Participants include military, civic and school marching bands and auxiliary units. After the blessing, bands have a stationary performance for the enormous crowds in the square.
The parade organizers include Gateway Music Festivals & Tours, who extend invitations to select American and Canadian bands. With over thirty years of experience organizing parades and music tours around the world, Gateway is honored to represent this remarkable event.