Cardinal Edward Egan will stand outside St. Patrick's Cathedral to wave to millions of St. Patrick's Day Parade goers for the final time as the spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of New York on Tuesday.
"St. Patrick's Day is one of the cardinal's favorite days of the year," Egan's spokesman Joseph Zwilling told the New York Daily News. "The packed cathedral for Mass, the marching bands, the fact that we are all 'Irish for the day' all help to make this one of the most festive and enjoyable days."
The parade is the world’s oldest and largest civic parade and celebrates the faith of Ireland, Irish heritage and culture. It honors Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of the Archdiocese of New York and Ireland.
The 76-year-old cardinal, who has presided over 2.5 million New York Catholics for the last eight years, is retiring and will be officially replaced by Milwaukee Archbishop and fellow Irishman Timothy Dolan on April 15. Dolan is not expected to be in New York for the parade.
This year's grand marshal for the parade is Michael Gibbons, president of the Ireland-U.S. Council and a former executive for Estée Lauder.
Televised coverage of the parade begins at 11 a.m. on 4 New York on Tuesday.