Gallery: Albany, NY St. Patrick’s Day Parade
(Writer/Photos: Billy Francis LeRoux)
The 69th annual St. Patrick’s day parade took place Saturday on a typical blustery March day in Albany. Despite 68 degree weather the day before, keeping with tradition the temperatures dropped to the mid 30’s for the parade with intermittent snow squalls. This didn’t keep revelers from coming out to enjoy one of the longest running St. Patrick’s Day parades in the Northeast which is the unofficial first day of Spring.
While the Parade continues to give the usual Irish organizations , marching bands, local dignitaries, and politicians the stage to march and show Irish pride, the event is a mere shadow of its former self. Over the years, the event had snowballed into a major “drunkfest” with the parade route lined with beer drinking celebrants as the city’s open container law was ignored and not enforced. In prior years college students from the University of Albany pre gamed the parade with their own “Kegs N Eggs” event that began in the early morning. This combination resulted in overly drunken rowdy crowds and fist fights and The City of Albany and The University of Albany stepped in and took action. The University banned the “Kegs N Eggs” event even though it was held off campus, and the City announced that the open container laws would be enforced. These actions have been largely successful as you would be hard pressed to find anyone at the parade these days with a beer in hand So, on this Saturday, the new family friendly parade took place.