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America is getting green and giddy for its largest St. Patrick’s Day parades

America is getting green and giddy for its largest St. Patrick’s Day parades

CHRISTIANSTED (AP) — St. Patrick’s Day parades across the U.S. are planned for Saturday, promising to turn one river green in the Midwest, commemorate the bicentennial of a parade in the South and put forth the first female leader of a major beer company as its marshal.

The holiday commemorates Ireland’s patron saint and was popularized by largely Catholic Irish immigrants. While St. Patrick’s Day falls on March 17, it’s being observed with major parades a day early so it doesn’t land on Sunday, a day of rest for the faithful.

In New York City, neighborhoods have held smaller parades for the past few weeks. In February, conservative Staten Island held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade allowing LGBTQ+ flags and groups. The main parade, in Manhattan, has included those groups and symbols since 2014.

On Saturday, Heineken CEO Maggie Timoney plans to serve as grand marshal of the Manhattan parade, according to organizers. Originally from Ireland, she is the first female CEO of a major beer company. Some 2 million people are expected to watch.

The Chicago Plumbers Union plans to once again turn the Chicago River green. Organizers say the tradition, started by the union, uses an environmentally friendly powder once used to check pipes for leaks.

In Savannah, Georgia, organizers expect a historic crowd to participate in the parade, which started in 1824. Ahead of the bicentennial, Georgia’s oldest city had early 18,000 hotel rooms nearly sold out for the weekend.

Meanwhile on St. Croix today, the festive celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day are just hours away and the Virgin Islands Police Department/Office of Highway Safety (VIOHS/VIPD) reminds everyone to celebrate
responsibly and drive sober. While this holiday is often associated with fun and revelry, it’s crucial to
remember that impaired driving can have devastating consequences.

“St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with joy and revelry, but let’s not forget the importance of
responsible celebration. The “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, VI” campaign emphasizes that any
amount of alcohol or drugs can impair driving abilities. Even a single drink can affect coordination,
reaction time, and judgment, putting both the driver and others at risk.”

While the celebration is all about shamrocks and shenanigans, when it comes to driving, there’s no
room for luck. Every sip counts, and every decision matters. “Let’s make sure the only green we see
this St. Patrick’s Day is in our attire, not on our roads,” says VIOHS, Director O’Neal. “Designate a
sober driver, trust us, the consequences of impaired driving aren’t worth the risk.”

We’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth repeating Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Throughout the
St. Patrick’s Day weekend, VIPD/VIOHS will be sharing safety tips, facts, and reminders on social
media platforms. “We urge everyone to take the necessary precautions and celebrate responsibly. Let’s
make this St. Patrick’s Day a safe and enjoyable one for everyone,” adds VIPD Commissioner, Ray
Martinez. Even if you’re just feeling “a wee bit” under the influence, your judgment and reaction time
are compromised. So, before you embark on your green-clad adventures, plan your journey home

VIOHS is dedicated to promoting safety and well-being in our community, and we thank you for your
support in spreading this important message. Let’s make sure the only thing we’re toasting to this St.
Patrick’s Day is a safe journey home.

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving in the USVI

For more information, and resources on impaired driving prevention visit or or to request a traffic safety presentation, contact the Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety through Director Daphne O’Neal at,

Impaired Driving Coordinator K’ Tonya Petrus at k’tonya.

You may also contact the office via telephone at 340-772-3025, or 340-513- 5291.

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