SOUTH BOSTON (CBS) — Though the weather was cold, the route was shortened, and the days leading up to it were mired in controversy, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade moved through the streets of South Boston Sunday afternoon.
The parade was led by little Devin Suau, a Framingham boy who is battling a rare form of cancer.
Devin’s family is raising awareness about his disease through the hashtag #WhyNotDevin. Suau rode atop a large police vehicle at the head of the parade.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, his wife Lauren and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh handled the ceremonial head of the parade duties.
Despite the controversy after they were banned from and then reinstated in the parade, LGBTQ veterans’ group OutVets were received with loud cheers as they carried American, military, and rainbow flags.
“This has been fantastic,” OutVets head Brian Bishop told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal. “The reception, as you can hear–I don’t know how much of it is more of kegs and eggs this morning, or if people are just happy–but we’re just glad to be here. Now, we’ve got a new day, which is fantastic.”
Army veteran Debbie Drew marched holding the group’s banner. She is a new member–very new.
“I didn’t know this group existed until the controversy, and then I was like, oh that’s my group! And I joined,” said Drew. “Like, on Tuesday I joined.”
“To be able to think about the men and women who served this country under adverse conditions, not only on the battlefield, but also from a social justice standpoint, this is just amazing for us,” Bishop added.
Those who attended the parade were in the spirit of the day.
“This day is huge for the culture. You know, we’re all from Boston. We’re all Irish. We’re all growing up here. It’s a great time,” a young man told WBZ.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports