St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kick off in Boston ahead of parade – Boston News, Weather, Sports

BOSTON (WHDH) — Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were in full swing on Friday for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic as many gathered to get the party started early in South Boston.

For many, St. Patrick’s Day, falling on a Friday this year, has only added more excitement.

People of all ages lined up along the St. Patrick’s Day parade route this weekend to enjoy a series of pop-up booths that operated on Friday afternoon.

“We’re just getting ready for the parade,” Brandon Shields said as he celebrated the day. “We just start early here.”

The parade itself takes spectators through the streets of South Boston on Sunday, beginning at the T-stop on Broadway and ending on Dorchester Avenue. The parade starts at 1 p.m

Boston officials, including Mayor Michelle Wu and Police Commissioner Michael Cox, rallied earlier this week to encourage parade participants to be safe.

RELATED: Boston city leaders issue safety tips ahead of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

As part of the effort, officials said police will be on the lookout to crack down on drinking alcohol in public.

Officials have also spoken out about efforts to keep hate groups off the parade route, with city leaders making it known that neo-Nazi hate groups that have performed in the past are not welcome along the route or in the city at all.

Those who drink, Cox continued, should take steps to protect themselves from topping up on drinks.

As officials prepare, many said Friday they hoped the three-day celebrations, which have already begun, would be nothing but lots of fun.

“Everyone’s very festive,” Jack Doherty said while selling t-shirts. “Everyone is in high spirits and they’re in.”

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Sarah Y. Kim

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