Irish pride takes to the streets for NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade
The 262nd St. Patrick’s Day Parade brought out massive crowds to Fifth Avenue.
The New York City parade first took place in 1762, making it the oldest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the world. It also brings the largest crowd out to see it.
Those among them – some newcomers and some long time vets — spoke to News 12 about their experience with the parade and their heritage.
“We’ve never gone before, and we thought it would be fun to skip school today and all go to the parade,” said Nicole, who says she is of Irish descent.
“I've been to Ireland a few times. My mom is 100% from there, so I love coming out here and supporting St. Patrick's Day,” added her friend, Morgan, who is also of Irish descent.
But for one man, this parade marked a milestone: 80 years of marching.
Mel Kenny, the retired first deputy commissioner of Nassau County police has been marching since he was 5 years old. He explained to News 12 why it’s so important to him.
“It’s part of my Irish heritage – [I’m] proud of my parents and the Irish traditions. There's a lot of meaning to the parade other than what we’re seeing - this represents what Ireland is about [and] what St Patrick's Day represents,” said Kenny.
He adds that he’ll continue marching as long as he's physically able to and advises first-time performers to learn more about the parade and what it represents so that they can celebrate it properly.