NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The streets of Newport will be flooded with tens of thousands of people, as the 60th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday morning at city hall.
City officials are working to make sure everyone has a safe and fun celebration.
Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, the entire city is covered with Irish flags and shamrocks throughout local shops and pubs.
“It’s a lot of fun, and I think everybody turns Irish, whether they’re Irish or not,” said Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano.
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The mayor said the city by the sea expects to see up to 30,000 people lined up along the parade route for the bands, floats and bagpipers.
Security for the parade will be tight, with both uniformed and plain clothes officers among the crowds.
Mayor Napolitano said the focus this year will be on family, with a kids pavilion and a moving toward decreasing alcohol consumption and alcohol related arrests.
She said she sent a letter to all local bars and restaurants asking them to refrain from serving alcohol until after the parade kicks off at 11 a.m., but its not an order they must follow.
The night before the parade, plenty of people were enjoying a pint inside some of the city’s Irish pubs.
Dan Bradley was preparing to march in the parade with fellow Warwick firefighters.
“It’s a fun time, marching with the guys that I work with and just getting the support from Newport and the community as a whole, it’s a great time,” said Bradley.
Governor Raimondo will also be at the parade.
She said it’s a honored family tradition that she and her kids look forward to every year.