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Utica St. Patrick's Day parade brings charity and cheer

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Utica St. Patrick's Day parade brings charity and cheer
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A parade of green brightened up a cloudy day in Utica. People lined Genesee Street to get the best view of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Our Alana LaFlore tells us what people thought of the celebration.

UTICA, N.Y. -- The luck of the Irish didn't bring sunshine on parade day but it did bring out the crowds. Sounds of bag pipes rang out as smiling spectators watched the floats pass.

Alexandra Peckham brought her young daughter to see the parade.

"I just think it's really good for her to come out and enjoy the festivities of the city," said Peckham. "Not much goes on around here."

Despite all the bells and whistles, Peckham left the parade early. She said it was too cold for her daughter to be out. And she wasn't alone.

First time parade goer Andy Sweet also wanted out of the cold, rainy conditions.

"It was great. A lot of people, a lot of excitement," he said.

People marching in the parade said it's just as much on the other side.

"I look forward to the crowd participation and just the reaction of the people along side the street, " said Bob Piatkowski, a trumpet player in The Island Band. "And especially the little kids who just seem to enjoy a parade so much. Especially when they have a chance to catch candy or maybe a set of beads."

The parade was more than just a good time, Mother Marianne's West Side Soup Kitchen held a food drive along the route.

Christian Fullem came with her friends, family and bags full of canned goods.

"These times, the economic rut we're in, it's good to give to the community," said Fullem.

For others it was all business.

"I'm just trying to sell these novelty type items," said Daniel Dwyer. "I'm like anybody else trying to make a little extra money for the family."

Dwyer is a native of north Utica and has been going to the parade for more than 30 years.

Whatever the reason for coming out -- business, pleasure, or a little bit of both, spirits were high.

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