St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off in Providence

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – St. Patrick’s Day may be in the rearview mirror but thousands gathered Saturday in Rhode Island’s capital city to celebrate the March 17th holiday Saturday.

The celebration began with the seventh annual Saint Patrick’s Day 5k Road Race at 11:00 a.m. and was followed by the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at noon.

“This is a day of cheer and Irish pride,” said Senior Deputy Majority Leader Terrence M. Hassett (Ward 12). “It gives us an opportunity to celebrate our heritage, rekindle with old friends and honor the great impact the Irish-American community has had on our city and the entire nation.”

“We expect more than 3,000 runners to participate in the 5k this year and we have more than 50 Providence area businesses, cultural organizations, and community groups participating in the parade,” said Patrick Griffin, the President of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

“I want to thank the whole Parade Committee for their tireless efforts and all the hard work that made this celebration possible.”

The parade’s 2015 grand marshal — was the Reverend Dr. Bernard O’Reilly. Reverend Dr. O’Reilly is now retired after he served 45 years as a priest in the Providence Roman Catholic Diocese.

Providence Chief of Police Col. Hugh Clements was deputy marshal.

This year’s procession was dedicated to the late Sister Ann Keefe. Sister Keefe was a well-known community activist.

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