Thousands Attend Boston's Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

Thousands of people dressed in green swarmed the streets of Boston on Sunday to see the 117th annual St. Patrick's Day parade.

The parade route was shortened this year due to last week's nor'easter, but the snow did not diminish the turnout or dim the enthusiasm of the paradegoers as they also faced temperatures in the low 30s.

A man from a local radio station held a giant cutout of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as people in the crowd cheered wildly. Children plugged their ears as muskets fired.

South Boston resident Marcella Sliney, whose parents originally are from Ireland, said she felt a special sense of pride while watching the festivities and supporting her LGBTQ veteran friends.

Sliney, 50, said she was happy to see the gay veterans group OutVets once again marching in this year's parade.

"This is why I am so passionate about respecting the rights of others and making sure that we respect diversity and love of all,'' she said.

OutVets began marching four years ago, but was enmeshed in controversy anew in 2017 when parade organizers denied it access because of a rainbow in its logo. A public backlash prompted the organizing group to reverse that decision.

The parade was hosted by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, and draws between 600,000 and 1 million people each year.

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh marched after speaking at the city's annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast.

More than a dozen Massachusetts politicians turned out at the Ironworkers Local 7 Union Hall in South Boston for the breakfast — co-hosted by Congressman Stephen Lynch and Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker joked about his 70 percent approval rating saying that his wife Lauren said in their house, 70 percent is only a "C." Baker added that during a recent charity event with New England Patriot's Tom Brady, he felt invisible next to the famous quarterback.

"It's like being invisible. Sitting next to the sun," Baker joked.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren didn't waste time poking fun at President Donald Trump during the breakfast and revealed many posters of fellow politicians with Trump's famous hairstyle.

Sen. Ed Markey also got a laugh from the audience while poking fun at the Trump administration.

"Today is evacuation day in Boston but in the White House every day is evacuation day," joked Markey.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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