BOSTON (CBS/AP) —The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade stepped off Sunday afternoon but Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was not there.

Photos: St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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Walsh said he would not participate in the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers are excluding gay groups.

A float in the annual parade. (Carl Stevens/WBZ)

A float in the annual parade. (Carl Stevens/WBZ)

Walsh said in an email on Sunday he’s disappointed he will not take part in the Sunday event because parade plans prevent all Boston residents from participating fully.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

Walsh and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch tried to broker a deal that would have allowed a gay group to march, but the negotiations broke down. The mayor said the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations honor Irish history that he says has been shaped by the fight against oppression.

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Lead parade organizer Philip Wuschke Jr. said gay people are not prohibited from marching. He said organizers do not want the parade to turn into a demonstration for a particular group.

Still hundreds turned out for the parade which brought man and animal dressed in green and orange.

Watch: WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens at the parade:

Boston police said 293 citations were issued for public drinking and made five arrests — two for disorderly conduct and three for public drinking. One person was placed in protective custody.

Police said the vast majority of those who attended the parade did so in “a fun and safe manner.”

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