St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns in full force

South Boston — The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston kicked off with a bang Sunday.

Four thousand people marched in the parade with thousands filling the streets to watch.

From the sidewalks to the balconies of Southie, this was the biggest celebration in a while.

For the first time in three years, the parade was back on its longer, traditional route because of the pandemic.

“It’s nice that things are back in full swing everyone’s out and can enjoy the day,” said Mary Doherty, who came to watch the parade from Lynnfield.

The whipping winds and freezing temperatures didn’t stop people from coming out.

“We’re kind of used to the cold, so we have the chairs and blankets and about 16 layers of clothing, we’re ready to go,” said Jessica Fish, who’s from Buffalo but now lives in Florida. “We had no idea what a big deal it was until we found out our kids were coming and looked into it, so this is really exciting.”

Despite the frigid weather, many looked at the brighter side.

“At least it’s clear and so nice out, it’s a great day, it’s a great family day,” said Doherty.

City and state leaders marched the 3.5 miles through Southie to celebrate.

“It’s fun to have that sense of getting back to celebrating all the elements of what goes into what makes us proud here, so we’ll be going by many of the historical sites,” said Mayor Michelle Wu.

This was also Gov. Maura Healey’s first time leading the parade as governor.

“Let’s use this event to celebrate our heritage, our history, the power and strength of our people, the hope our city and our state offers,” said Gov. Healey. “It’s also a really important day to celebrate our service members, our veterans.”

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