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Friday, March 17, 2017 – New York City: Aside from New Year’s Eve in Times Square, the most festive holiday event in New York City is the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade which streams down Fifth Avenue every March.
Spanning 44th to 79th Streets, the marchers were numbered at an estimated 150,000, including police officers, firefighters, civic organizations, and the military, to cite a few. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also marched. City officials estimated that two million people watched from the streets.
This 256th edition of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which dates back to 1762, was dedicated to Catholic Charities and the New York State Police who both celebrate their 100th anniversary this year.
Michael J. Dowling, President & CEO of Northwell Health, served as the Grand Marshal.
Members of the Fire Department honored EMT Yadira Arroyo, who was killed in the line of duty this week, with a “Rest In Peace” banner. The Parade also honored NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, who passed away this year.
A display of American and Irish flags adorned St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The “Fighting 69th” of the New York National Guard, dressed in traditional olive green camouflage, brought Irish wolfhounds as mascots. The infantry was originally organized as a militia unit for Irish immigrants in New York.
Irish violinist Greg Harrington began the procession with a rendition of “The Parting Glass,” a popular Scottish parting tune sung in Ireland.
Amid tight security, this was the first time in history that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City passed by a sitting President’s home – Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets.
This year, police prohibited cars from crossing Fifth Avenue during breaks in the parade.