Under grey skies, a green Fifth Avenue where Irish pride ruled the day. Tomorrow is actually Saint Patrick’s Day, but you would never know from this crowd.
The 252nd annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade brought plenty of smiles to Irish eyes. Kelly Collins doesn’t know it yet, but her boyfriend, police officer John Veiling is about to pop the question.
When I asked Veiling why he chose this moment to propose he said, “Keeping it Irish!” with a big smile. The couple met two years ago on Saint Patrick’s Day.
They say everyone is a little Irish today, so I went to find out exactly what that means. “For starters, you’re wearing green! This great city was made by immigrants,” said Christina Mongan.
For Michael Bloomberg, it was his last St. Patrick’s Day Parade as mayor. Some of those who want his job showed their faces, too.
For Independent mayoral candidate Adolfo Carrión, Jr., this day is extra special. “Every March 17th I’m Irish. My sister was born on March 17th so it’s also a birthday celebration,” he said as he walked down Fifth Avenue waving an Irish flag.
Candidate George McDonald had a few things about himself that he wanted to share with voters. “I’m Irish by heart and I’m the best candidate for mayor of the city of New York!” he exclaimed.
The FDNY EMS Pipes and Drums Band is on a tight schedule. They have to catch up with another parade far away. “We’re leaving immediately after the parade. We’re going to Dublin, Ireland to represent New York City paramedics and EMTs,” said EMT John Manning as he led the band’s procession.
But perhaps the most poignant moment was when another band overwhelmed the parade goers with their presence. They were from Newtown High School.
“We’re coping. The kids make it easier because our students are awesome,” said one woman who was marching with the Newtown High School band. “And the support knowing everyone loves us.”