The city of Utica kicked off St. Patrick’s Day festivitiesthis afternoon. People gathered at City Hall for the annual ceremonial raisingof the Irish flag.
Following a brief ceremony, the grand marshal of this year’sSt. Patrick’s Day parade, Utica Fire Chief Russ Brooks, lead a procession from CityHall to Hanna Park.
Attendees say today they are remembering and paying tributeto their ancestors.
“St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about drinking and havinga good time although that is important, it’s also to remember our religiousbackground. St. Patrick of course is the symbol of this for us. As we march inthe St. Patrick’s Day parade, it gives us a time to think back and let us knowwhy we are here,” said Dan Fitzgerald, a member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.
Today’s ceremony is the start to a weekend filled withfestivities, including the annual parade down Genesee Street.