Americans have started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day across the country on Saturday, one day before the March 17 festival.
Chicago held its annual parade on Saturday morning and dyed the Chicago River green while New York held its famous parade greeted by thousands.
Revelers, children and even pets were decked out in green to mark the occasion with Irish flags hanging from street corners across the country.
At the New York parade which claims be the “oldest, biggest, and best in the world”, partygoers withstood the snow and cold to join in the fun.
The massive parade, which predates the United States beginning in the 1700, was led by 750 members of the New York Army National Guard.
The parade lasted for almost five hours with dancers, bands and battalions all taking part. The 1st Battalion of the 69th Infantry has been marching in the parade since 1851.
Michael Bloomberg took in his last St. Patrick’s Day as mayor, waving to a cheering crowd.
Marching just behind him was Irish PM Enda Kenny, who presented Michael Bloomberg with a historic Irish teapot earlier in the day.
In the south of the country, thousands of revelers garbed in green crammed the oak-shaded squares and sidewalks of downtown Savannah, Georgia, for a celebration that’s a 189-year-old tradition.
Led by bagpipers in green kilts, a parade kicked off Saturday morning, hours after customers began lining up at downtown bars.
More than 1,000 worshipers also packed the pews of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist for the Mass that traditionally precedes the parade.
Boston is also getting into the mood ahead of its parade on Sunday.
The 112th St. Patrick’s Day parade is expected to be attended by nearly 1 million people but pub crawls will be going on all weekend.
In Maine, St. Patrick’s Day prompted Governor Paul LePage to relent on a vow to veto any bill that reached his desk before lawmakers pass his proposal to pay a state debt to hospitals.He signed a measure Friday allowing bars to serve alcohol a few hours earlier than usual, starting at 6 a.m., on the Sunday holiday.
About 1,500 miles southwest, the city of Houma, Louisiana., was holding its unconventional celebration – an Irish-Italian parade, with a celebration that features both Irish cabbage and Italian sausage – on Sunday.
The event resumed last year after a 10-year hiatus.
In Rolla, Missouri, the Missouri University of Science and Technology continued a St. Patrick’s Day tradition that began in 1908, when students paid homage to the patron saint of Ireland who was the patron saint of engineers.
In Ireland, Dublin’s five-day St. Patrick’s Day festival was unfolding with a new addition.
For the first time, up to 8,000 visitors from around the world were due to march in a so-called people’s parade on Sunday, when Irish capital city also intends hold its usual procession of bands and pageantry.