St Patrick's Day has arrived and many green-clad New Yorkers have already flocked to bars to kick-start the Irish holiday, but the infamous NYC parade is yet to kick off.

Starting at 44th street, the parade gets going at 11 a.m. and will venture up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick Cathedral through to the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd where it will finish at 4.30-5.00 p.m.

For those who can't make it, the event will be live streamed on NBC's New York website.  

The best places to view the parade and avoid the crowds are north of 66th street and Fifth Avenue, according to the parade's website. The upper steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art provide a great view. You can get a close-up view of the marchers at 86th Street where the Parade route ends and the marchers disband and embark to go home or to celebrate.

Francis X. Comerford is the Grand Marshall for the parade. He's the chief revenue officer and president of commercial operations for  NBC-owned television stations. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will be at the parade at 10.45 a.m.

The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York took place on lower Broadway in 1762, which included members of Irish ex-patriots and Irish military who served with the British Army stationed in American colonies.

People involved in the parade would march, sing and play pipes to Irish tunes. Initially the parade was organized by military units, but after 1812, Irish beneficial societies took over as hosts and sponsors of the event. The parade has grown sharply over the years, becoming one of the biggest parades in the world.

Throughout our history, the parade has been held in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland and the Archdiocese of New York, the parade committee said on its website.