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Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Swamps Streets in Midtown

By Jess Wisloski | March 16, 2013 10:01am | Updated on March 16, 2013 5:44pm

MIDTOWN — The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade returned to the streets of Manhattan on Saturday in the 252nd show of Irish pride in New York City.

Parade-goers, festooned with bright green garb, and many sporting the flag of Ireland's white, orange and green stripes, flooded Midtown early March 16, one day before the actual holiday celebrating the Catholic patron saint, Saint Patrick, March 17.

As tradition dictates, if the holiday should fall on a Sunday, the parade will be held the day before, so as not to interfere with religious observances.

The spirited celebration started at 11 a.m. under overcast skies, which gave way to a light snow in the early afternoon, but even the foggy skies and light wet precipitation didn't dampen the mood.

John McCorry, 26, a business consultant, traveled from his home in County Armagh to Dublin, then flew to New York, to march alongside his uncle and cousin for the first time under the county's banner in the New York parade.

"I've never marched before. It was great, patriotic and fun, despite the snow and rain. Now I need some Jameson's to warm me up," he said.

A tourist from Sydney, Australia, Lincoln Gould, 27, also had a great time at his first visit to the parade.

"I thought it was spirited, vibrant and a real New York carnival that I have never seen before," he said. "I loved it. I loved the sense of community from all the different types people from all over the world. It was a great show of diversity."

The parade kicked off from East 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, with marchers moving past St. Patrick's Cathedral at East 50th Street, and continuing towards East 79th Street.