Crowds cheered and bagpipes bellowed during New York City's annual St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday.
The massive parade, which predates the United States, was led by 750 members of the New York Army National Guard. The 1st Battalion of the 69th Infantry has been marching in the parade since 1851.
Michael Bloomberg took in his last St. Patrick's Day parade as mayor, waving to a cheering crowd as snowflakes fell on Fifth Avenue.
Marching just behind him was Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who presented Bloomberg with a historic Irish teapot earlier.
"The Irish are found in every borough, every corner of New York,'' Kenny said at a holiday breakfast. "In previous generations they came heartbroken and hungry, in search of new life, new hope; today they come in search of opportunity to work in finance, fashion, film.''
The parade began at 44th Street and made its way north up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick's Cathedral to the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd Street.
Hundreds of thousands lined the parade route, cheering the marching bands, dance troupes and politicians.
"We're crazy, the Irish, we're funny and we talk to everyone,'' said 23-year-old Lauren Dawson, of Paramus, N.J., who came to her first St. Patrick's Day parade.