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March 26, 2019

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade draws revelers old and new to Irish celebration on Fifth Avenue.

March 16, 2019
Charles Riccobono, left, and Aichea Riccobono, right, are pictured at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, New York on Saturday. (Shawn Inglima for New York Daily News)

Three generations of Mullikens made their traditional March trek to Fifth Ave., celebrating yet another St. Patrick’s Day at the 258th edition of the annual Irish parade.

“I was in the parade when I was a baby,” said Susan Mulliken, 42, joined Saturday afternoon by her 72-year-old dad W.H. Payne and her 10-year-old daughter Erin — who sported a green wig apropos for the festivities.


The trio joined the tens of thousand of revelers gathered to mark the annual celebration of all things Irish, with a steady parade of bagpipers, marching bands, firefighters and cops marching through Manhattan. A contingent of Irish police officers joined this year’s march as well.

Many in the high-spirited crowd cheered and clapped along to the steady procession of musicians on the move through Midtown in the latest incarnation of the world’s oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration. School marching bands came from as far away as Alabama and New Hampshire, while local talent hailed from the suburbs of Westchester County and New Jersey.

Though surrounded by live music, 46-year-old parade attendee Matt Kennedy brought his own selection of Irish tunes along: Thin Lizzy, the Waterboys, the Clancy Brothers — and of course, the Pogues.

Marchers take part in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan Saturday.
Marchers take part in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan Saturday. (Shawn Inglima for New York Daily News)

“For the lulls, between the bands,” explained Kennedy as his set list blared from a Bluetooth speaker. “I keep adding to it. In this season especially, you can just bust it out and it makes for an instant party.”

Temperatures climbed into the low 50s under partly sunny skies as Timothy Cardinal Dolan stood on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, greeting marchers as they strode up Fifth Ave. The cardinal had earlier celebrated his annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass inside the venerable house of God.

For Columbia University student Chelsea Rodriguez, it was her first trip to the parade. She found a plum spot just a block from the cathedral in the first row behind the barricades lining the parade route.

“I came here an hour before it started,” the 20-year-old explained. “I saw it on the news last time, and I wanted to come down this year.”

This year’s grand marshal was immigration attorney and activist Brian O’Dwyer, who was joined by a number of city politicians on the parade route. Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill marched together, each in a green tie, while City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and state Attorney General Letitia James joined the march along with several other city council members.

“No community has done more to make New York City great, no community for so long has helped build us into the greatest city in the world than the Irish community,” de Blasio said at a breakfast before the parade.

Pierce Stewart, 23, stood out from the usual shamrock-festooned attendees by wearing a green Christmas sweatshirt showing a panda bear chewing on a candy cane.

Jennifer McCaffery is pictured with her daughter Anastasia, 2, as they watch Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City.
Jennifer McCaffery is pictured with her daughter Anastasia, 2, as they watch Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. (Shawn Inglima for New York Daily News)

“I’m getting a lot of attention for this,” said a grinning Stewart, who was also attending his first-ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade after moving earlier this year from Dallas to New York.

“This is the big one,” he said, sitting with a friend on the stone wall around Central Park near E. 66th St. “And we have this amazing spot.”

Susan Mulliken couldn’t remember her first time at the annual parade, nor even guess at the number of times she’s attended.

“Countless,” said the Croton resident, recounting her father’s claim that her St. Patrick’s debut came in a stroller that he pushed along Fifth Ave.


Mayor Bill de Blasio shakes hands with Timothy Cardinal Dolan before Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan.
Mayor Bill de Blasio shakes hands with Timothy Cardinal Dolan before Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan. (Gregg Vigliotti for New York Daily News)

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