HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 70th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade is now only one week away and many people are looking forward to this western Massachusetts staple.

“It’s an exciting time with people getting together, enjoying the community atmosphere and enjoying each other,” expressed Joe O’Connor, the President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

It’s a St. Patrick’s tradition in western Massachusetts like no other, the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. While the lead up and preparation to the big day takes months, we’re now just days away and people are starting to look forward to this huge annual event.

“Besides good weather?,” added O’Connor, “Family, friends, and a lot of community spirit.”

The Parade will begin at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday, March 19, starting from the K-Mart Plaza on Route 5 and typically takes about three hours to go through the city. Those who have been coming to the parade their whole life say to expect to see a lot of green, Irish pride, and a ton of fun.

And, for the local Irish community the lead up to the parade and the parade itself is an opportunity to pass down traditions, and embrace their heritage with family, friends, and hundreds of thousands of other people. Officials estimated over 300,000 people attended last year, and wouldn’t be surprised if it’s even more this go around.

“It means an awful lot. It’s a means to pass down traditions to one generation to the next in the celebration of our heritage as Holyoke citizens, and it’s a real community event that we look forward to all year,” expressed John Driscoll of Holyoke.

If you are unable to attend this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade, 22News will be broadcasting the event on air and live-streaming the whole event.