WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Proud Irish-American residents of White Plains and several surrounding areas put on their green attire and lined both sides of Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street to participage in the citys St. Patricks Day Parade.
White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach was proud to be marching in the parade along with 27 marching bands and a number of community groups and organizations.
I think its wonderful, said the mayor. Its a great day for the Irish and a great day for White Plains. As mayor, Im very proud that this has become really the regional St. Patricks Day Parade. As an Irish-American, its a great honor to me to be able to march in the parade and it means so much to the community.
Among the notables marching were County Executive Robert Astorino and several New York State representatives, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Assemblyman Robert Castelli.
Edward Johnson came with his wife and four children, three of whom were marching. Their enthusiasm was immeasurable as they looked forward to marching with friends.
I think its fun to march with friends, said 10-year-old Taj Johnson, who was marching with his White Plains Tigers Youth Football League team.
His sisters, 12-year-old Tayya and 7-year-old Tyffany, agreed. They were marching with their Girl Scout troops.
The parade, which started at the intersection of Mamaroneck Avenue and Livingston and ended in front of City Hall, featured several pipes-and-drums bands, including a group from Rockland County.
We look forward to it every year, said Larry McDonald of the Rockland County Ancient Order of Hibernians Pipes and Drums. This is great. The New City resident said about 30 people were marching in the group this year and that the organization has been marching since 1984.
One of the main themes shared by many throughout the event was that everyone is Irish on St. Patricks Day, including Italian New York State Assemblyman Robert Castelli.
Im honored to celebrate the Irish for St. Patricks Day, he said. Everyones Irish on St. Patricks Day and in this parade, everyone is certainly Irish.
White Plains resident Bill Brady attended the parade with his family and friends.
Its a little cold today, but were having a great time, he said of the 39-degree weather. Were in the sun, and a lot of great bands and a lot of happy faces today.
Brady was also glad to be watching because some family members are a part of the local police and fire departments. Its always good to cheer them on, he said.
Brady enjoyed seeing people from different ethnic backgrounds out enjoying the parade.
Im full-blooded Irish, so its good to come out and show everybody were a lot of different types of people, but todays everybody Irish, he said.
After the parade, which started at noon and ended around 2 p.m., there was an Irish Cultural Tour that featured the best of Irish music, food and dance at many White Plains restaurants, bars and other establishments.
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