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Police make safety a priority during annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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There's a few things you’ll want to know if you plan on attending the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Utica.

UTICA, N.Y. -- Utica’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start at Oneida Square and head down to Columbia Street, but Utica Police Lt. Mike Curley says road closures will take place south of Oneida Square.

"The roads adjacent to and Genesee Street will be shut down at 7:00 AM until the conclusion of the parade," he said. "We’re asking that no parking on the adjacent streets from the Memorial Parkway to Lafayette Street occurs."

Police realize there will be partying in the streets, and only ask that people follow a few simple rules.

"Open alcoholic beverages are allowed, however they are not allowed in glass or cans," Curley said. "They are allowed in plastic cups, but you know just be smart. Come enjoy yourself. Don’t do anything silly. Certainly we want everyone to utilize ride share services, taxi services, or any kind of group rides in any capacity they can. There is no reason to drive on this particular day. There’s lots of options, and we will certainly facilitate anything we can as well."

There are also some safety precautions police have to take throughout the day, and are asking the public for their cooperation.

"We don’t want any backpacks or extra bags. If you must bring one they’ll probably check. You know if you need supplies or things of that nature, but we encourage no one to bring that. We also encourage no pets on that… you know there will be utilization of police K-9’s that we don’t want to interfere. They’ll be a lot of people out. We hope that domestic animals aren’t brought. FAA regulations prohibit the use of drones or any kind or recording devices in the air on that particular day, so please don’t bring those."

Because this is a mass gathering, and police can’t be everywhere, so they’re also asking the public to be vigilant of your surroundings.

"If you see something, say something. You know there’s going to be a lot of people. A mass gathering on the street. If something looks amiss, there’s going to be plenty of police officers. Very visible in traffic vests, you’ll know who they are in full uniform. Please approach them, advise them of the situation that’s going on. Advise them of the scenario that you may see that’s wrong. Kind of give them a good description of what’s happening, but please, please let them know so we can address the situation properly."  

Following the parade there will be an after party on Varick Street, but be prepared to do some walking, as Varick Street and the surrounding streets will be temporarily closed between 2 and 7 p.m.

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