MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was hard to ignore the Irish spirit on the streets of St. Paul on Friday.

The 51st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade has become an annual tradition in the capital city — but it’s green year-round.

From the city’s Irish-American Mayor Chris Coleman, to nearly a dozen Irish pubs — and to the fact that downtown’s first settlers were actually Irish soldiers.

(credit: CBS)

“We have such a strong Irish tradition in St Paul and throughout our state, and today’s the day to celebrate it,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the parade’s Grand Marshal.

Celebrity guests, volunteers and even pets got in on the luck of the Irish. Alexandra Murdock, this year’s Ms. Shamrock, was also there in her emerald-green cloak.

“We try to inspire everybody in the Irish culture here to come together and represent this awesome city we live in,” Murdock said.

It’s a celebration of Irish heritage — which doesn’t require being Irish.

“I’m sure there’s a little bit of Irish in there, but, you know, I think everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right?” said celebrity grand marshal Dave Ryan.

So whether you choose a parade, beer, or wearing green to celebrate, embrace the Irish heritage in Minnesota — and may the luck of the Irish be with you.

[graphiq id=”6m3UUhgry6x” title=”Population Reporting Irish Ancestry in the U.S.” width=”600″ height=”500″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/6m3UUhgry6x” link=”https://www.graphiq.com/vlp/6m3UUhgry6x” link_text=”FindTheHome | Graphiq” ]

Kate Raddatz