St. Patrick’s day parades took place all across the United States this weekend as millions of people celebrated Irish culture. While parades in Chicago, Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh took place Saturday, organizers of Boston held its parade Sunday ando allowed LGBT groups to march for the first time since banning them two decades ago.
“I’m thrilled that the St. Patrick’s Day parade is inclusive this year, and the addition of Boston Pride to the list of participants reflects the values of the South Boston neighborhood,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “With this year’s parade, Boston is putting years of controversy behind us.”
The celebrations in Chicago Saturday, which saw thousands gather to watch the Chicago River being dyed bright green, were largely observed without issue. However, police in the Wrigleyville neighborhood near the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field made 17 arrests overnight as drunken celebrations saw fights break out.
Parades also took place in Buffalo, New York, Sunday as police were attempted to crack down on the public intoxication that has marred past celebrations. Beer-maker MillerCoors underwrote free rides for the day on the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, traditionally the busiest time of the year on the line.
New York’s parade, the country’s largest with 150,000 taking part, was scheduled for Tuesday. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to skip the celebration for a second year in a row because organizers won’t allow more than one gay rights group to march.
Atlanta’s parade went off without a hitch Saturday although the presence of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny stirred some controversy in the days leading up to it. A local television station said it had been “flooded” with messages from people saying they would boycott the event because of Kenny’s politics. Kenny has been accused of racism and ignoring the needs of the poor in Ireland during his tenure.