BUFFALO, N.Y. ( WKBW ) Warm weather brought estimates of 125,000 people downtown Sunday for the annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade where everyone was Irish!
The parade kicked off at 2p.m. from Niagara Square, with thousands of marchers, bands, floats, dancers, officials, first responders, students, military, children, and pets led by Grand Marshal Patrick Plunkett.
Channel 7's anchorman Keith Radford, weather anchor Mike Spong, and traffic reporter Dave Cash marched ahead of the LIVE truck to the delight of the crowd, many taking pictures with the WKBW team along the parade route.
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Buffalo police report no major incidents at the St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Buffalo.
With additional officers on hand for the parade, Buffalo police reported only a handful of arrests and mainly for disorderly conduct.
Unofficial estimates put the crowd upwards of 100,000 people, possibly as many as 125,000.
The Buffalo Saint Patrick's Day Parade has been a celebrated tradition in Western New York since 1940.
Here is more on the event from www.buffalostpatricksdayparade.com:
Grand Marshal Patrick Plunkett:
Patrick has named his brothers Michael, Daniel and John as his Deputy Marshals. Pat has been a member of the Executive Committee of the UIAA for many years, his commitment has grown from helping with the line up of the Parade to announcing at the reviewing stand to chairing the first annual Celtic Challenge in 2011, a four mile run to help fund the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
Patrick is one of eight children of Patricia (Sullivan) Plunkett and the late John Plunkett, a South Buffalo family. His father John, a veteran of the Korean War was an electrician and served as treasurer of the Buffalo Irish Center (GAAA). Growing up Pat spent time at the Irish Center playing sports in the former gym, volunteering to work bingo and helping the members set up for social events. Pat graduated from Canisius High School where he played football, baseball and basketball. He received a sports and academic scholarship to attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges. While there he was an All American in lacrosse.
His relationship with Canisius High School has continued through the years where he served as Dean of Students and coached many sports teams. His volunteer activities include gathering young people to assist Sr. Johnice at the Response to Love Center. He is now a student at Christ the King Seminary working towards his Masters Degree in Pastoral Care Ministry.
Mr. Plunkett works in the Insurance and Financial Services Industries. Pat and his wife Colleen (Coughlin) Plunkett have four children: Megan, Anna, Sean and Erin. Colleen is a former engineer at WKBW TV and is now a teacher’s aide at Eggert Rd Elementary School in Orchard Park. While Mr. Plunkett’s brothers are his deputy marshals, his sister Margaret, mother Patricia and wife Colleen will lead the grand marshal family entry with his children, relatives and friends. It will be a major family unit in this year’s Parade.
The 2012 Parade is dedicated to the Memory of Catherine M. O'Brien
Catherine Mahoney O’Brien (Kate), who served first as a longtime volunteer giving countless hours over the early years to the administrative work of the Parade and then as an Executive Committee member of the organization. Mrs. O’Brien was elected Grand Marshal in 1984. Her husband and only child Dennis, each held the office of Executive Chairmen for many years and also served as Grand Marshals in 1958 and 1988.
The legacy of “Kate” continues with her son as an active member of the UIAA Executive Committee and her grandchildren who continue her love of the Parade as volunteers on Parade Day. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is truly a family tradition in the O’Brien clan.
Mass was celebrated by Bishop Edward Kmiec at Saint Joseph’s Cathedral on Sunday, March 18th at 10:30a.m. before the line up for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
The Parade started at 2p.m. from Niagara Square and proceeded north on Delaware Avenue to North Street.
Bishop Kmiec marched with the United Irish American Association, which has conducted this memorable Buffalo tradition since 1940.
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The Parade receives recognition and accolades and in a letter to Mayor Brown and in an article in the magazine "Ireland of the Welcomes" published in Dublin, Ireland