NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — On a weekend when everyone claims to be Irish, it was a time to “go green” on Friday afternoon at Newark’s 77th St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The cool, wet conditions failed to dampen the spirit of revelers who celebrated with passion.
“I’m Irish and I’m always happy to see the Irish people come back to Newark. It’s just a great day being in Newark with all the Irishmen,” resident Julius Spohn said.
“This is a yearly thing. Everyone is enjoying themselves and so I think I’ll join in, too,” added Arthur Crawford.
Grace O’Brien told Morgan she has a strong emotional connection to the traditional event.
“Oh for the last 65 years or so, since I was a kid, I’ve marched in this parade,” O’Brien said.
For others, Friday’s parade marked their annual chance to be Irish.
When asked if she is “technically Irish,” or “just Irish for a day,” Newark’s Karen Gajda said, “Just Irish today. I’m Polish … to be honest with you.”
The Castlerea Brass and Reed Band came all the way form Ireland to be in the parade for the sixth time.
“You make so much of it here compared to at home in Ireland and we just love it! Because here we can let ourselves go! Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!” Mildred Beirne told Morgan.
From traditional bagpipes to high school bands, music filled the air Friday and some young spectators were enjoying their first St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was an afternoon that left everyone’s Irish eyes smiling.
Saturday morning’s parade on Fifth Avenue begins at 11 a.m. It will be the 251st year of the parade in Manhattan.
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