Huge crowds turn out for St. Patrick's Day Parade
BOSTON -- More than 600,000 people took over South Boston Sunday for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Blue skies and a sea of green welcomed Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade -- the second largest parade in the nation, with nearly a million people watching the colorful floats and plain old Irish good cheer.
The 110-year-old parade began at 1 p.m. on Broadway in South Boston and featured an Irish choir, high school marching bands, military marchers, and tributes honoring other cultures.
“Ton of people -- I think it was better than last year,” one man said.
“Loved it, it was awesome,” another said. “Boston is a great city.”
The festivities also included the chief marshal’s banquet, where Senator Scott Brown and Governor Deval Patrick were in attendance. On the menu: corned beef and cabbage, and a little roasting.
“Honestly,” Brown said. “I’m so glad the Governor is here because if he wasn’t here he’d actually be out trying to recruit another candidate to run against me.”
And this year, the old made room for something new, with a second parade: the first alternative St. Patrick’s Day parade, held by an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, along with Veterans for Peace.
Police marched along with both parades, which travelled the same route. Organizers said they hope all will march in the same parade next year.
“We may have been physically a mile behind,” Annie Coleman, of Join the Impact Massachusetts, said. “But next year we hope to be in one parade, and if it means the city has to take it over I think that would be a step in the right direction so everybody could march.”
There was a heavy police presence, as always, this year. Police said there were 380 citations for public intoxication and 11 arrests, but considering there were over 600,000 people out, they said the crowd was relatively well-behaved.
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