Irish pride on full display along the 'The Emerald Mile' in Yonkers
Irish pride is on display across the Hudson Valley to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and one of the largest Irish communities in the area is around McLean Avenue in Yonkers
Businesses and residents pulled out all the stops on the biggest day of the year in the area known as "The Emerald Mile."
Brendan Gomez, pipe major for the Yonkers Fire Department Pipes and Drums, began St. Patrick's Day by serenading McClean Avenue in Yonkers before dawn.
Before the sun was up, there was nonstop action at the McClean Avenue Bagel Cafe where green bagels were made in honor of the day. There was also traditional Irish breakfast and dozens upon dozens of loaves of Irish soda bread.
The celebrations last all weekend on McClean Avenue. Saturday is the 66th annual Yonkers St. Patrick's Day parade. "We definitely take a lot of pride in our own city parade. Our entire department marches behind us. The band gets to play, and it's just a lot of fun to play for your own city," says Gomez.
Father Brendan Fitzgerald of Saint Barnabas Church is the grand marshal and says the parade does Ireland proud. "I just think it's such a great tribute to the Irish people, that the city of Yonkers does that to paint the whole mile of the avenue green, and it gives me a really great sense of pride."
And what's St. Patrick's Day without a good pint of Guinness? Caitriona Clark of J.P. Clark's on McClean showed News 12 how it's done. "Hold the glass at about a 45-degree angle to the nozzle, and then you just release and pour slowly. The thing about Guinness is just to take your time and let it settle."
The parade steps off at 1 p.m. Saturday. There will be thousands of people, so get out early.