Boston Celebrates at a Chilly St. Patrick's Day Parade​

The temperature was 36 degrees Fahrenheit and windy when the St. Patrick's Day parade kicked off in South Boston on Sunday afternoon.

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Boston held its St. Patrick’s Day parade Sunday, an event Mayor Michelle Wu called one of the biggest events of the year for the city and an incredible day for bringing people together.

The city is home to one of the country’s largest Irish enclaves, and the parade typically draws about 1 million people.

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Wu said during the NECN broadcast of the event that she was happy for sunny skies despite cold temperatures and blustery winds, adding, "we can handle it here in Boston.”

The temperature was 36 degrees Fahrenheit when the procession -- led by Boston first responders -- stepped off in Southie Sunday afternoon. Smiling, cheering spectators decked out in green lined the route. Some held up large Irish flags that whipped in the wind.

Minus the wild wind, it was a great day for the oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country.

"You just feel a lot of excitement but it feels like good clean fun, safe, happy, joyful," one spectator told Derek Zagami along the parade route.

"Oh it was amazing," Brockton resident Jason Chadwell said. "There's nothing but good energy around here. Always good people around here. I don't know, I don't live in the city, so being in the city is just always fun."

People traveled from far away to experience the iconic event, including all the way from Colorado and even Ireland.

"I think everyone would agree the Boston parade's absolutely super. The welcoming that we got throughout the whole parade was just amazing," said Bob Seward, of Ireland Organization of ex-military personnel.

Seward says the group plans to come back next year with an even bigger crowd from Ireland.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey echoed that it was a great day, a great parade and she was thrilled to take part and celebrate the immigrant community and recognize veterans and current service members.

"As a person who's gay it means a lot to be able to be here ... I appreciate how welcoming how welcoming everyone has been," Healey said.

The mayor added that St. Patrick's Day is "a story about immigrants coming to this country, facing hardship ... that's the story of my family as well."

Boston police thanked everyone who came out to the parade and celebrated responsibly, making it a festive and memorable day for all. Police told NBC10 Boston that there were only four arrests.

From police and politicians marching in the parade, things were back to normal this year as the parade returned to its full route.

Last year the parade returned after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. Parade organizers decided during the omicron surge to march, but shorten the route, excluding Dorchester Heights.

The parade was hosted by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council. This year's chief marshal was Coleman Nee, a veteran, CEO of Triangle, Inc., a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, and a former state secretary of veterans' services.

Restaurant and bar managers tell NBC10 Boston that business was amazing this year and the crowd was well-behaved, and they can only hope for a repeat next year.

NBC10 Boston/The Associated Press
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