CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Irish flag raised Friday at Chicopee City Hall in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day next Friday and the St. Patrick’s events to follow in Holyoke that weekend.

The Chicopee colleen and her court did the honors raising the Irish flag across from city hall during a ceremony honoring the contributions of the Irish who made a life for themselves in Chicopee over the years.

“We represent diversity and we just raised the Irish flag at city hall in recognition of Irish heritage. The Irish people and their heritage, we want to recognize them,” said Mayor John Vieau.

Years ago, 1899 to be exact, Chicopee had an Irish Mayor named Denis Murphy who left his mark by building Chicopee’s Central Library. City Councilor Jerry Roy, Chicopee’s parade marshal for next week’s Holyoke St. Patricks’ parade, reminds us that his city has one the parade’s largest marching contingents.

“People in western Massachusetts are famous for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and no one I know of is not Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a wonderful thing, everyone enjoys it so much,” said Roy.

The young women who represent their communities during the season of St. Patrick’s celebrations are not forgotten.

“They’re going to look back on some of the fondest memories that they have, savor it and enjoy it, they’re remarkable young ladies,” said Vieau.