ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The St. Patrick’s Day celebration started early in St. Paul with the Get Lucky half-marathon, and the crowds only got bigger as the day went on.
Everywhere in downtown St. Paul Saturday, you saw shorts, shades and shamrocks. The weather couldn’t have been much better for the annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade.
Along the parade route on 5th Street, it was a sea of green by high noon. For people who preferred to be inside, there was an Irish celebration at the Landmark Center.
“We were here 10-12 years ago and had a lot of fun, so we wanted to come back,” said one party-goer. “The weather turned out perfect so it could not have turned out better.”
With a high of 81 degrees forecasted, it was somehow fitting that one of the hottest places to be in St. Paul was next to the ice at the Xcel Center.
The puck dropped at 1 p.m. for the Minnesota Wild game, which an estimated 17,000 people attended.
“It’s the greatest place to be, if you’re going to be anywhere,” said one fan.
To keep the peace of the crowd, estimated to reach 100,000, St. Paul Police stepped up patrols.
“We’re hoping that, as it normally happens in St. Paul, that everybody is behaving themselves,” said Commander Shari Gray.
Police encouraged groups to look after their friends.
“We make sure we all leave together, and when we get somewhere we’re still all together,” said one woman who came with a group of friends.
As of Saturday afternoon, there were no major incidents. To add to the crowds, there was also a Gopher hockey game downtown.