Sunshine and blue skies for St. Patrick’s Day wearing of the green
The luck of the Irish included the weather as the 262nd St. Patrick’s Day Parade stepped off Friday under sunny skies over Fifth Ave.
The Midtown marchers, to the sounds of wailing pipes and pounding drums, headed uptown on the annual celebration of the Emerald Isle and its New York descendants — plus more than a few out-of-towners.
“I’ve 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 the school spring break when they realized the timing was right to pop in for the first time. Becker was appropriately attired 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 pleasant afternoon with temperatures in the mid-50s. Mayor Adams marched with FDNY head Laura Kavanaugh and other FDNY bigwigs, with the group pausing to greet Cardinal Timothy Dolan outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The mayor, renaming himself “O’Adams” for the day, said he felt at home among the crowd.
“This is a real blue collar community,” said Adams. “You know, our firefighters, our teachers, our members of the police department. I’m a blue-collar mayor.”
Dolan said he had no problems with the mayor’s recent remarks about transforming the city into “a place of God.”
“I’m glad he’s bringing that in,” said Dolan. “We need more of that.”
Parade attendee Julia Lewis stood with a group of friends in matching outfits: Green tutus, shamrock knee socks, shiny beads and green-sequined bowler hats. The crew arrived around 10 p.m. Thursday after driving down nearly 250 miles from upstate Auburn.
“Girl’s trip, let’s go!” said Lewis, 35. “It was so worth it. We thought everyone would be dressed like this.”
The marchers included far-flung groups from the San Francisco Police Department and the Randolph-Maron Academy in Virginia, including representatives from the individual counties in Ireland.
“Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!” bellowed a man marching with the County Roscommon contingent, drawing cheers and applause from the folks lining the sidewalks.
Hochul, the first Irish governor in 40 years, said she was thrilled to join the marchers.
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“We’ve never seen crowds like this,” she said. “It is one of the best ever. We are back … that’s the message of today.”
For Tina and Daniel Patrick Reilly, this was their second St. Paddy’s parade in a week. The two drove up to New York for the weekend after hitting the Philadelphia parade last Sunday
“The bagpipes, the Fire Department, the police,” said Daniel, 51, of his favorite parade sights.
Four-month-old Olivia Queenan, wrapped in an Irish wool sweater and a tam, was perhaps the day’s youngest participant as she smiled in her father’s arms.
Mom Fiona Henry, 23, of Yonkers, said the family of three planned to march the entire length of the parade route with the County Sligo group.
“She’s a very happy baby,” said Henry. “I’m very lucky.”