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Thousands Turn Out For South Boston Parades

This article is more than 11 years old.

Thousands of people turned out for Sunday's St. Patrick's Day parades in South Boston, most wearing green and all enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Revelers came from all around the country, including Paul O'Connor, who came from Northport, Fla., to join in the celebration.

"I brought this nice weather for you is what I did," O'Connor said.

O'Connor showed up two hours before the parade began to get a front-row seat. He was in town visiting his granddaughter, and decided to stay an extra day for the festivities.

"I been to the New York parade, right? The New York parade's a big parade. But this Southie parade's a hometown, beautiful parade, that's what I like about it," O'Connor said.

Police were visible on almost every street corner as part of an effort to curtail any illegal behavior. As of 7 p.m. Sunday, police reported eight arrests and more than 200 citations — mostly for public drinking — in South Boston alone.

One hour after the first parade, a second parade marched down the same route — yhis one organized by the group Veterans for Peace, a group that was denied permission to march in the traditional parade.

Pat Scanlon, the group's coordinator, says they were rejected for being too political.

"And I said, 'Did they say anything as to why? Why they rejected our permit?' He said they did not want to have the word 'peace' associated with the word 'veteran,' " Scanlon said.

Organizers for the St. Patrick's Day parade declined to comment on the matter.

Scanlon says although his parade is more of a statement, it is also a celebration.

"This is just a wonderful party for everybody who's there," Scanlon said. "We're going through South Boston to have fun. We're having fun."

This program aired on March 19, 2012.


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