Thousands Line Streets for 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City - NBC New York

World's biggest, oldest St. Patrick's Day Parade marches up Fifth Avenue on March 17

Thousands Line Streets for 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City

History was made in the streets of Manhattan on Tuesday. For the first time, New York City's St. Patrick’s Day Parade allowed an organized gay and lesbian group to march under a banner - but it wasn’t without controversy. Melissa Russo reports. (Published Tuesday, March 17, 2015)

There were shamrock scarves and shamrock temporary tattoos, shamrock bandannas and green leprechaun hats. The crowds along Fifth Avenue marked New York City's celebration of Irish heritage with smiles, cheers and plenty of pride on Tuesday.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade stepped off on 44th Street with Cardinal Timothy Dolan serving as Grand Marshal, and the Archbishop of New York told the throngs of spectators lined along the route he felt "as radiant as the sun."

The sound of bagpipes echoed everywhere along the parade route, which ran north up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick's Cathedral to 79th Street. The route predates the Declaration of Independence.

Largest St. Patrick's Day Parade  (Guess Where)Largest St. Patrick's Day Parade (Guess Where)

Mayor de Blasio confirmed Monday that he would not march in the parade, despite organizers' decision to allow a single gay employee resource group to march.

The Empire State Building was shining green, orange and white -- the colors of the Irish flag -- Tuesday night.

2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade Marches Through New York2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade Marches Through New York

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