Thousands Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

March 17, 2013 Updated Mar 17, 2013 at 7:33 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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March 17, 2013 Updated Mar 17, 2013 at 7:33 PM EDT

Western New Yorkers painted the city green, with a huge celebration and parade for Saint Patrick's Day in the heart of the downtown Buffalo area.

By Rachel Elzufon

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Western New Yorkers painted the city green, with a huge celebration and parade for Saint Patrick's Day in the heart of the downtown Buffalo area.

Thousands of people lined the streets. Many of them were decked out in Irish green to celebrate a big part of Buffalo's history.

The Saint Patrick's Day Parade is a favorite tradition in the Queen City.

"It shows the pride of this city and how important this day is to many people," says Shannon Wloskowicz.

Thousands of people converged downtown to watch the floats and people marching down the street.

James Yeomans says "It shows the Irish pride and it shows the Irish culture! So strong!"

The parade featured Irish dancers, bagpipes, four leaf clovers and Irish flags -- all on top of symbols of immigrants coming to America.

Senator Chuck Schumer says "I try never to miss this parade! It's one of the best parades not only in New York, but in the country."

Patti Engleman says the parade also is an "excuse at all for a good party and get people together."

Channel 7 even joined in on the fun, marching down the street and waving to the crowds.

Generations lined the streets, forming a sea of green. For many, the parade is a family tradition.

Linda Maurer says she's "been coming here as long as I can remember. My parents brought me when I was really small and I'm still coming up to this day."

Gabriel Rodriguez adds "It's been big, ever since I grew up. I'm from here, I'm from Buffalo and this is what we do."