Today was a gorgeous spring-like and sunny day, perfect for a parade. This year's theme was designated as "Feed the Soul – Nourish the Palate."
The festivities kicked off at noon as over 100 participants
marched down Constitution Ave., from 7th to 17th Streets, N.W.
The Grand Marshal this year
was Cathal Armstrong, Gael of the Year, was Michael F. Curtin Jr. and Division Marshals were Brian Manion, Nora Reilly, and Patty Simpson.
Numerous participants joined in Washington's 41st annual St. Patrick's Day parade, as is custom. The parade formed on the National Mall and those passing through were able to view all of the participants lining up and practicing their routines.
Unfortunately we did not make our way up to the parade in time to catch the first five minutes or so, but had a fantastic view of the rest of the parade.
The procession included festive floats decked out in green, orange and white. Spectators were also treated to bagpipes, marching bands, step dancing by dance schools and drill team performances. In addition were many vehicles including several 'muscle' and classic cars, police cars and motorcycles, and an array of fire trucks from different regions and eras.
For over two hours the parade's attendees enjoyed a cultural array of music, dance, costume and more, mostly Irish, however dancers from other countries performed as well in traditional garb.
Irish Wolfhounds also made their way down Constitution Ave.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade and Washington D.C. have a long history
. Back in 1871 the first parade, which was nowhere near as large as today's celebration, marched along Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont Circle to the statue of Robert Emmet. At this time the parade was described as a "leisurely stroll," but expanded in 1874 when the Constitution Avenue route was adapted.
The annual parade has now grown to become a substantial annual event that takes a lot of planning and fund raising prior to parade day.