Albany streets turn green for St. Patty’s parade

ALBANY – Irish Americans first settled in the Capital Region well over a century ago. Their heritage and pride was on full display Saturday afternoon as the city of Albany celebrated its annual Saint Patricks’ Day Parade for the 73rd time.

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All along Central Avenue it was a sea of green enthusiasm. The very best of the Emerald Isle was on display and marching through the city on a brisk but sunny afternoon.

Irish eyes of all ages were smiling from both sides of the street along the parade route.

“I really liked watching the Irish dancers,” said one parade goer.

“I’ve come to learn to love it,” said another, “I think it’s very uplifting and a good day to tour around the city and enjoy the nice weather even if it’s a bit cold.”

“I definitely feel that it’s a great time to get together with family,” said a young man, “Even though I’m with friends now, I’m definitely going to meet up with family later too and make sure to have those good times as well.”

“You can’t beat the bagpipes that you hear in the background,” another young made stated, “I’m not Irish but just the energy around all of that is great.”

After the parade ends, the fun continues as a wave of green energy migrates into downtown bars and restaurants.

“We’re walking, trying to find some Irish music and a place to have a little bite to eat,” said Chuck Ayers.

The city’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade came a week before the holiday due to the NCAA Basketball Tournament scheduled for MVP Arena next weekend.