Major US cities go green early to celebrate Irish heritage with St. Patrick’s Day festivities

Many people in the United States celebrated Irish heritage by attending St. Patrick’s Day parades on Saturday. These events took place a day before the actual holiday and included significant celebrations in Savannah, Georgia and New York, where a pioneering female business leader was honored as the grand marshal.

The holiday celebrates Ireland’s patron saint and became well-known mainly because of Irish Catholic immigrants. St. Patrick’s Day is usually on March 17th, but some parades were rescheduled to Sunday, which is a day of worship for Christians.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan is one of the biggest celebrations of Irish heritage in the world. It has been taking place since 1762, which is 14 years before the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Megan Stransky from Houston and two of her family members decided to have a weekend in Broadway at the same time as the parade. They saw it as a great chance to honor their Irish heritage and the traditions that influenced their upbringing. The event was impressive.

“I have never seen a parade or city like this before,” Stransky exclaimed, amazed by the bagpipers, bands, police, military contingents, and more.

The grand marshal for the event is Maggie Timoney, the CEO of Heineken USA. She is the first woman to be the CEO of a major beer company in the United States. During a reception before the parade at the mayor’s residence in New York, Irish Minister for Justice Helen McEntee praised the recognition of Timoney and mentioned other reasons to celebrate Irish American connections this year, such as Irish actor Cillian Murphy winning the best actor Oscar last weekend.

New York City has many parades in different parts of the city. One of these parades is the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which now allows LGBTQ+ groups to participate. This parade will take place on Sunday in Staten Island.

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Last month, Mayor Eric Adams announced a plan for a new celebration. This celebration was organized privately and was arranged in response to a request from a local organization. The organization had been asking for years to be a part of the borough’s parade, which has been happening for decades. The event, which took place earlier this month, has a long history of not allowing groups to march with LGBTQ+ banners.

FDNY commissioner Laura Kavanagh was booed at the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade after she called for the identification and targeting of hecklers who were criticizing NY Attorney General Letitia James.

The Manhattan parade started including LGBTQ+ groups and symbols in 2015. This change came after many years of protests, legal battles, and boycotts by certain politicians.

Before Chicago’s parade, many people gathered along the Chicago River to watch the local plumbers union boats turn the water green. They were dressed in green and had beers in hand. According to organizers, the tradition was started by the union and involves using an environmentally friendly powder that was previously used to check pipes for leaks.

Katie and Ryan Fox, who live in the suburbs of Mount Pleasant, were on a tour boat when they saw one of the union boats spraying dye in front of them. Ryan Fox, who is 37 years old, said that seeing the river dyed by a boat was something he had always wanted to do before he dies. “If there is a city that does it better than Chicago, I would like to see it,” he said.

Many people dressed in green gathered along the streets of Savannah to celebrate the bicentennial of a parade that started with a small group of Irish immigrants in 1824. Nowadays, it has become one of the biggest yearly events in the South. In fact, the Savannah area had almost 18,000 hotel rooms reserved for the weekend.

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