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St. Patrick's Day parades turn pandemic blues Irish green

St Patrick's Day Parade New York
Posted at 11:47 AM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 13:00:41-04

NEW YORK (AP) — St. Patrick's Day celebrations across the country are back after a two-year hiatus.

That includes New York City's parade Thursday, the nation's largest and oldest.

The Library of Congress said the first parade held in New York dates back to March 17, 1766.

It's a sign of growing hope that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic may be over.

In 2020, these parades were among the first major events canceled as the virus hit the United States.

New York's parade coincides this year with the city's reopening.

Major mask and vaccination rules have recently been lifted.

Elsewhere, Chicago dyed its river green after doing so without much fanfare last year.

Communities in Boston, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, also bring their parades back.

The Library of Congress said the parade in Boston was first held on March 17, 1775, and the parade in Savannah dates back to March 17, 1824.

According to US Census data, about 32 million Americans self-identify as being of Irish ancestry.

According to the Library of Congress, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17 because it's reportedly the day Saint Patrick died in the fifth century.