HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - The 62nd annual Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Parade lived up to its advanced billing on Sunday.
Hundreds of thousands of onlookers thrilled to the spectacular parade where everyone was Irish during this day.
Predictions that the winter like weather might cut into the size of the crowd was just an unfounded concern. An enthusiastic crowd lined the two and a half mile parade route.
They were rewarded with colorful floats; stirring music and the feeling they were all part of something truly special.
"Our Irish heritage, family friends together, the mummers, the shriners," Sharon McPhee of Holyoke said.
The wearing of the green wasn't an absolute requirement, but so many visitors got into the spirit of the parade, which for the first time in many years actually fell on St. Patrick's Day.
Kevin Hough said, "I just love the warm atmosphere of the day, to be with friends, I just love the whole parade, every aspect of it is great
So many parade goers had come early to stake their claim to where they could best enjoy the parade.
This is one event that Raul Vega and his family had no intention of missing.
"It brings the whole community together, you know I'm not Irish but all cultures are here," Vega said.
Everyone was there to share this day so precious to the Irish. The crowd included newcomers to the Holyoke St. Patrick's parade along with many who've made it their tradition to never miss the parade.
"It's just amazing how it's grown, and the heritage keeps on rolling. I myself am French, but my husband is from Ireland," said Eleanor Kearney.
There were the colleens and their courts, the vividly decorated floats, all the spirit lifting music you could imagine, and of course the people who came to take home fond memories of the 2013 Holyoke St. Patrick's parade.