The luck of the Irish included the weather as the 262nd St. Patrick’s Day Parade began Friday under sunny skies over Fifth Avenue.
Midtown marchers, to the sound of pipes and drums, headed uptown in the annual celebration of the Emerald Isle and its New York descendants, plus some outsiders.
“I always wanted to come to the parade,” said Elizabeth Becker, 41, of Las Vegas, who attended with her husband and daughter. “My dad is from New York.”
The family was on vacation during spring break from school when they realized the time was right to show up for the first time. Becker was appropriately dressed in green.
“I’m Scots-Irish so I have a lot of green jackets,” she explained.
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams helped carry the council’s banner along the route on a balmy afternoon with temperatures in the 50s. Mayor Adams marched with FDNY chief Laura Kavanaugh and other FDNY bigwigs, and the group stopped to greet Cardinal Timothy Dolan outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The mayor, renaming himself “O’Adams” for the day, said he felt right at home in the crowd.
“This is a real blue-collar community,” Adams said. “You know, our firefighters, our teachers, our members of the police department. I’m a blue-collar mayor.”
Dolan said he had no problem with the mayor’s recent comments about transforming the city into “a place of God.”
“I’m glad he’s bringing that to the table,” Dolan said. “We need more of that.”
Show-goer Julia Lewis stood with a group of friends in matching outfits: green tutus, shamrock knee-highs, sparkly beads and green sequined bowlers. The team arrived around 10 p.m. Thursday after driving nearly 250 miles from upstate Auburn.
“Girls trip, let’s go!” said Lewis, 35. “It was very worth it. We thought everyone would be dressed like that.”
The protesters included remote groups from the San Francisco Police Department and the Randolph-Maron Academy in Virginia, including representatives from individual counties in Ireland.
“Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” shouted a man marching with the County Roscommon contingent, drawing cheers and applause from the people lining the pavements.
Hochul, the first female Irish governor in 40 years, said she was excited to join the protesters.
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“We have never seen crowds like this,” he said. “He is one of the best of all time. We’re back… that’s today’s message.”
For Tina and Daniel Patrick Reilly, this was their second St. Paddy’s parade in a week. The two traveled to New York for the weekend after attending the Philadelphia parade last Sunday.
“The bagpipes, the Fire Department, the police,” Daniel, 51, said of his favorite places for the parade.
Olivia Queenan, four months old, bundled up in an Irish wool sweater and tam, was perhaps the youngest participant of the day as she smiled in her father’s arms.
Mum Fiona Henry, 23, from Yonkers, said the family of three planned to march along the parade route with the group from County Sligo.
“She’s a very happy baby,” Henry said. “I am very lucky.”