NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A picture perfect day drew hundreds of thousands of revelers to Fifth Avenue for New York City’s 251st annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
“It’s just tremendous the size of the crowd. It’s magic,” one parade-goer told CBS 2’s Anne Mercogliano.
“There’s nothing like this in the world,” said Jim Hinckley of the Parade Formation Committee.
The parade stepped off at 11 a.m. on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street, led by this year’s Grand Marshal Francis Comerford.
It marched up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street and ended at 86th Street and Fifth Avenue.
“It’s an amazing experience, people dream of doing stuff like this,” one marcher said.
“We don’t have parades in Scotland,” said tourist Sharon Gabin. “This is fabulous.”
“While we’re celebrating Irish culture today, we’re really celebrating New York,” said Comerford.
The parade is a vibrant, colorful celebration of Irish culture, complete with flags, bands, Irish dancers and much more and it draws fans from all over the world.
“There’s no place like New York City for the parades,” said one parade goer from Ireland. “It’s absolutely magnificent.”
Nine-year-old Keelyn Ennis from Jackson, New Jersey, who shares her birthday with Saint Patrick’s Day, says it was her birthday wish to come to the parade.
“So far I actually like everything cause it’s really cool,” she said.
After offering the traditional Saint Patrick’s Day Mass, Cardinal Timothy Dolan took in the parade from the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and spoke of the tradition and the significance of the parade.
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“They came here with just a dream and now we look back with gratitude on those generations and say it’s the dream of Ireland, it’s the dream of the immigrant and it’s the dream of America,” he said. “That people come here and they love opportunity and liberty and they want to practice their faith and make their home here and darn it, it’s worked.”
Mayor Bloomberg marched alongside Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
“Luck of the Irish means if your Irish you’re lucky enough,” Bloomberg said.
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