St. Patrick's Day parade turns Big Apple green

(AP) - An emerald hue twinkles over the Big Apple todayas revelers mark St. Patrick's Day with green T-shirts, green hats- and even green beer.

The centerpiece, of course, is the Fifth Avenue parade. PoliceCommissioner Raymond Kelly is the grand marshal.

Participants include the famous "Fighting 69th." The New YorkNational Guard unit's history stretches to the Civil War, whenimmigrants made up the so-called "Irish Brigade" of the UnionArmy.

Gov. David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended Mass atSt. Patrick's Cathedral before the parade.

A large crowd turned out as winter gave way to sunshine andbalmy temperatures in the 60s.

It will be the last major parade in the city before new policerules take effect, trimming routes 25 percent and keeping them lessthan five hours.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians run the nation's biggest St.Patrick's Day celebration.

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