MANHATTAN - The famous Fighting 69th led the march up 5th Avenue today in the 250th St. Patrick's Day Parade, continuing a tradition dating back to the 1700s.

Thousands of spectators bedecked in all shades of green came out to celebrate the Irish holiday, some, such as Kevin Keeley, of Brentwood, for the first time.

Officials estimate that about 200,000 marchers took part in this year's parade, and up to two million jubilant spectators watched the procession from the sidelines.

The Long Island Rail Road ran additional afternoon service to accommodate commuters heading home from the parade.