Thousands celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the parade

Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 19, 2017

What do you get when you mix Buffalonian pride with Irish heritage? Thousands of people wearing green, celebrating where they come from and who they are.

"This is a celebration of my heritage and the people that came across on a boat in 1862," said Mark who is part Irish and Scottish.

"We're part Polish and Irish, so it's the best of both worlds! You can't get more Buffalo than pierogies at the St. Paddy's Day parade," said Chelsea Slagor, who went to the parade for her first time.

26-year-old Chelsea enjoyed her first parade, as she showed off her new shamrock hat.

"I love Buffalo!" exclaimed Slagor. "I love what's going on here in the city. There's a lot of changes going on so everybody should come out next year if they missed it this year."

For others, it's a yearly tradition: coming to the parade that highlights everything from Irish dancers, to furry friends, and of course, our 7 Eyewitness News team.

"I used to Irish dance, so I see my old school dancing performance so I definitely come down and watch them and cheer for them," said Anya Giarraffa.

"Everybody is absolutely displaying their Irish pride," said Mark. "In other cities, they don't wear nearly as much green!"

And for many who live for this holiday, it's easy to pick out Buffalo's St. Patrick's parade above every other one they've been to. 

"I have been to a couple in like Pennsylvania, in California, and it's nothing like Buffalo," said Mark.

And that seems to be true. Because even people from all around the nation traveled to Buffalo to witness the parade in motion. 7 Eyewitness News spoke to people from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Akron, Ohio.

The energy was electric for those lined up on the streets, and also the leprechauns in the parade. And behind the scenes, security was tight.

"The policemen are great," said Slagor. "Great job policemen - they're keeping the streets clean and safe."

What made things even sweeter: a "will you marry me?" poster on top of the Ironworkers truck.