Philadelphia's annual St. Patrick's parade another big success

Image 1 of 56

We've been doing it since before there was a United States, and you can say we have it down Pat!

Philadelphia had yet another successful annual St. Patrick's parade. Thousands gathered along the new Market Street route despite the bitter cold.

Were you at the parade? Send us your pictures using the hashtag #FOX29Irish. You may see your photos on TV or in our FOX 29 special parade section!

This year's theme was St. Patrick, Protect and Guide Our Police Officers.

The annual parade is put on by the St. Patrick's Day Observance Association.

They say the Irish in Philadelphia first celebrated St. Patrick's Day in 1771. That was five years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, and this parade marks more than 245 continuous years of celebrations.

Also, this Delaware Valley event is the largest Philadelphia parade with approximately 20,000 participants. More than 200 groups are represented. They include marching bands, dance groups, youth groups and Irish associations. Thousands of spectators have been lining the route - formerly on the Ben Franklin Parkway -- to enjoy the Parade each year.