MANHATTAN (PIX11) - From families creating new traditions, to ones who made sure they attended every year, the New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade is undoubtedly an event many look forward to. Timothy Cardinal Dolan led the way as the Grand Marshal, as traditional Irish bagpipers, bands and local officials followed close behind. PIX11 cameras met several newcomers, who crossed the pond just to attend the largest parade for the Irish heritage in the country.
However, amongst the excitement, noticeably absent from the parade for the second year in a row was Mayor Bill de Blasio. He, along with several city council members, continued their boycott of the parade because the city's LGBT community said they were excluded and not allowed to march in the parade for the past 24 years. This year parade organizers did allow OUT@NBCUNIVERSAL to take part, a group organized by the very network televising the parade. That move, however, was called a ploy by an organization known as Irish Queers.
The parade, as always, was an international draw as people from around the world arrived to celebrate.
"I've never been here before, so we decided we would come this year," said Pauline Duffy, who is from Dublin, Ireland.
Then there was James Geraghty, who is from the United Kingdom. Geraghty celebrated his 70th birthday along the parade route, thanks to his children.
"Since he was 18 he had always wanted to come, so it's taken awhile to get him over here. 52 years later we finally got over here. It's been a long time coming," explained Geraghty's daughter, Sinead.