SEE IT: St. Patrick’s Day parade is back in NYC

It wasn’t just Irish eyes smiling on St. Patrick’s Day as New Yorkers celebrated one of the largest parades to march in the streets since the rise of COVID-19.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade returned on March 17, drawing thousands of spectators and marchers alike, despite the inclement weather which literally rained on the parade.

Kicking off from 44th Street and 5th Avenue, Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell led the revelry with wide waves and flapping Irish flags. Striding forth, the two served as frontrunners for the sea of people ready to follow in their footsteps.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams led the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Photo by Dean Moses
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams waved the Irish flag. Photo by Dean Moses
Thousands attended the parade. Photo by Dean Moses

Flanked on either side, hundreds of New Yorkers young and old decked themselves out in green and cheered on the parade.

Aleza, a 93-year-old woman enthusiastically waved from her wheelchair, cheering on the FDNY as they walked past on 66th Street and Fifth Avenue. One firefighter left his ranks and placed a green beaded necklace with shamrocks over her neck as a token of appreciation for her support. 

“I came out for the beautiful parade because I love watching the bagpipes and marchers,” Aleza said.

A member of the FDNY greets Aleza, a 93-year-old spectator. Photo by Dean Moses

Steve Costello beamed with pride telling amNewYork Metro that his father, Tom Costello, a Chaplain of the Hewlett Bay Fire Department had the privilege to march alongside the 2022 Grand Marshal James T. Callahan, the General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers. 

“It’s a really special day for our family. We are just really proud of him and to have the parade back in New York and to see the people out is fantastic,” Steve Costello said, sharing that he and his family traveled from Long Island to enjoy the festivities. 

NYPD helped oversaw the event. Photo by Dean Moses
A few little girls wore Irish Viking horns. Photo by Dean Moses
Dancers twirled green flags along Fifth Avenue.P hoto by Dean Moses

Holding up his six-year-old daughter, Erin, and a poster she created for the celebration reading, “We love you Grandpa,” Costello says that it’s been a long time since he’s seen New York City streets filled with so much love and joy. 

“The last couple of years we really missed the parade. It’s such a nice day to celebrate the Irish heritage and to see everybody laughing and having a good time. It’s refreshing to have it back,” Costello said. 

There were hundreds of performers and participants taking part in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Photo by Dean Moses
The parade played host to several traditional bagpipe performances. Photo by Dean Moses
Spectators held signs in support. Photo by Dean Moses

For many, the parade is more than an opportunity to commemorate Irish heritage, it’s about celebrating culture with their fellow New Yorkers with music, laughter, and bright green colors.  

Heidi Langdon is from Yonkers and every year she would travel down to Fifth Avenue to attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade before the pandemic hit. After two years of cancellations, Langdon is thrilled to be back wearing her green Leprechaun hat, Shamrock glasses, and emerald beads. 

“It’s great to be here! We missed this for a long time. It’s great, I like the bands. I love FDNY,” Langdon said, showcasing a green FDNY t-shirt and adding she comes from eight generations of firefighters. 

The parade culminated on 84th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Everyone showcased their Irish pride. Photo by Dean Moses
Participants made sure to bring family members along with them. Photo by Dean Moses
Some attendees painted iconic Irish symbols in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Photo by Dean Moses
Cheerleaders waved green pompoms. Photo by Dean Moses
There were spectacular bagpipe performances. Photo by Dean Moses
The parade route spanned 44th Street to 84th Street along Fifth Avenue. Photo by Dean Moses
Members of New York City Council joined in the fun. Photo by Dean Moses
Offering a salute. Photo by Dean Moses