BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Boston will be awash with green this weekend as the city hosts one of the biggest and most famous St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country.
The 118th St. Patrick’s Day Parade through the city’s historically Irish enclave of South Boston gets started at 1 p.m. Sunday.
In the past, as many as one million spectators have lined the neighborhood’s streets to watch floats, pipe and drum bands and veterans’ groups march. The parade this year will also follow a longer path through the streets than last year, when three March snowstorms forced organizers to shorten the route.
“Boston has a strong Irish heritage. It’s great to see people come out and really support the past,” said Colby Gavigan, of South Boston.
This year, organizers say they want to focus less on the party and more on its military roots.
“To take this parade and to celebrate and to have so much fun for St. Patrick’s Day, but to also commemorate those who serve. It’s the only parade in the world that does that,” said Parade Director of Operations Bryan Bishop.
Bishop said safety is also a top priority. “Boston Police will be out in full force. They’ll be looking for public drinking. They’ll be issuing citations. There will be a presence on the street that will be felt.”
The city is asking people to leave their cars at home, even posting “No Stopping, Special Event” posters around East Broadway. They’re encouraging people to take public transportation instead.
The weather should be nice, with forecasters expecting sunshine with temperatures in the low 40s.
The parade is hosted by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)