NEW YORK, N.Y. – A sea of green washed over Manhattan on Saturday as thousands of people celebrated during New York City's annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
And Westchester County was well-represented at the festivities, as several schools, clubs and bands made the short trip south to march down Fifth Avenue.
“It can’t get any better than this,” said Richard LaManga, leader of Rye Boy Scouts Troop 2, which marched in the parade. “It’s amazing how many people are here.”
Sunny skies welcomed the parade goers who turned out in full force, standing shoulder to shoulder along the city streets.
The wave of people clamoring to see the performers didn’t go unnoticed by members the Ossining High School Marching Band.
Sophomore Sam Morkel-Williams said the crowd was what made the day so special.
“It’s like a performance, but in front of a lot more people,” said Morkel-Williams, a bass clarinet player. “It’s exciting. It’s payoff for all the marching practices.”
His father, Dave Morkel, a New York City firefighter, turned down an opportunity to march in the parade himself, choosing instead to watch Sam and his older brother Cameron perform with the Riverhawk band.
“It’s fun to march, but it’s fun to watch my kids, too,” Morkel said.
Chris Hearle, bandmaster of the Pipes and Drums of the Police Emerald Society of Westchester, said it wasn't the crowds so much as the tradition of the parade that made the event so memorable.
“The New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is so special, not just because of the walk, but because it epitomizes and celebrates the history and resilience of the Irish people, and has for 150 or so years,” said Hearle, a detective lieutenant with the New Rochelle Police Department.