Mayor James Walker, with the parade's commissioner Roderick Kennedy, roll up Fifth Avenue for the 170th parade. New York City's first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in 1762, 14 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
A little boy steals a kiss while his mother looks on. The first St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States was actually held in Boston in 1737.
The parade follows a 1.5-mile route along Fifth Avenue, lasts about five hours, and is always led by the 69th Infantry Regiment (New York).
A baton twirler leads the Xavier University band up Fifth Avenue. In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day was traditionally a Catholic feast day and a holy day of obligation. People had the day off from work, went to Mass and had a family meal together.
Actress Maureen O'Hara photographs the parade from the corner of 64th Street and Fifth. It is always held on March 17, the day Saint Patrick is thought to have died.
Jackie Kennedy stands on her tiptoes to get a better view. Today, more than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held in the United States. New York City and Boston hold the largest celebrations.
Cardinal O'Connor watches kilted pipers passing by from his chair in front of St. Patrick's church.
Senate candidate Hillary Clinton holds a baby handed to her from the crowd. She was running against New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the senate seat.
Giuliani received loud applause at 2002's parade, as one of the largest crowds ever came out to remember those lost in the September 11 attacks.
That same year, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg marched and called for a moment of silence to honor those killed on September 11th.
St. Patrick's Day revelers often wear a shamrock. Trifolium dubium, the wild-growing three-leaf clover that some botanists consider the official shamrock, is an annual plant that germinates in the spring.
Their feet not touching the ground, brightly costumed young Irish step-dancers float up Fifth Avenue.
A marching group moves past a giant Abercrombie and Fitch billboard.
Cardinal Edward Egan poses for a photo during the 248th parade. There are more Americans who claim to be Irish than there are Irish in Ireland. (36.3 million Americans reported they had Irish ancestry in 2008. The population of Ireland was 4.4 million at the time.)
Two girls from Irish-American Society wait to perform.
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