SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – To celebrate Irish Heritage, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, the Springfield St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee and officials raised the Irish flag at City Hall on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

The greater Springfield’s Irish-American community joined in the flag raising ceremony.

“Irish eyes are smiling today. We’re very appreciative of all our Irish-Americans for their contributions to the city of Springfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America,” said Mayor Sarno.

Bishop of the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese William Byrne expressed pride in his Irish heritage during the flag raising ceremony, calling attention to his Irish roots, “I think my grandmother in heaven is looking down with great joy, and also knowing that God is ours. This is such a wonderful celebration.”

Western Massachusetts’ Irish Cultural Center President Sean Cahillane will lead the Springfield contingent as Springfield Parade Marshal during Sunday’s Holyoke’s St. Patrick’s Parade. “You can see it, parades bring out the best in people. Huge memories, fond memories… people’s faces,” said Cahillane.

Memories from the 69th annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade are waiting to be created this Sunday. Thousands will march, hundreds of thousands will line the parade route and thousands more will match the entire parade right here on 22News and on WWLP.com starting at noon.