Northgate Band performs at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade

by Celia Shortt

Northgate High School’s marching band celebrated its 2014 St. Patrick’s Day in a memorable way, marching in New York City’s parade Monday.

“As a principal, I’m proud for our band to represent us in the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” said Northgate Principal Bill Harrison. “As always, they represent us well, and I’m proud to be a Viking.”

According to Associated Press, New York’s city parade is the largest celebrating Irish heritage. It kicked off Monday morning on Fifth Avenue, in cold and gray weather after a weekend of festivities. The parade has been around longer than city and usually draws more than 1 million spectators and 200,000 participants every St. Patrick’s Day. It has been a longtime mandatory stop on the city’s political trail, and includes marching bands, traditional Irish dancers and thousands of uniformed city workers.

This year’s parade was also marked with some controversy as Guinness beer dropped its sponsorship of the parade on Sunday over the parade’s ban of expressions of gay identity. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t march in the parade over the controversy. The mayor held the traditional St. Patrick's Day breakfast at Gracie Mansion with the Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, but was boycotting the parade.

According to the parade’s organizers in New York, gay groups were not prohibited from marching, but were prohibited from carrying gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as LGBT.

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