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St. Patrick's Day Parade and post-party on Varick Street sees huge turnout

By Gary Liberatore

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Thousands of people spent the day Saturday celebrating St. Patrick's Day, only five days early. The annual parade kicked off promptly at 10:00 a.m. on Genesee Street. 2011 saw one of the best turnout's in the parade's history.

This year's Grand Marshal was Oneida County Court Judge Michael Dwyer. Bagpipes, bands and plenty of politicians made the trek down Genesee Street to a huge crowd lining both sides.

Tracy Lindfield of Utica says she loves this day each year, especially the parade. She said, "It was a lot of fun, I had a few beers at 10:00, first time doing that, so that was fun."

Her husband, Norm Lindfield says part of the parade makes him feel like a kid. He said, "When they throw the candy, it's good for the kids, I like that."

As soon as the parade is over, the fun moves a few blocks over to Varick Street. Many of the parade goers made their way over to Varick Street, which is shut down on this party day.

Dustin Dye who lives nearby was drinking early and having plenty of fun. He said, "Everybody gets to come out here and have a great time. No fighting involved, which is great and we get to drink a lot of beer, that's the best part about St. Patrick's Day, right on the street."

Bands like Autumn Fire out of Sauquoit get to play right on the street, and the crowds, even passing motorists were enjoying the sounds.

Todd Schuler of Rome says he has no words to describe this day. He said, "No description. I have one word that describes it, one simple word, it's awesome."

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