Skies of blue and a sea of green as inclusive New York St. Patrick's Day Parade draws millions.iStock

Records were set at this year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, according to the organizers. A press release reports that the 255th annual march up Fifth Avenue was the most successful ever from a viewership standpoint, with millions following it on social media and watching it live from around the world.

There also were 1.1 million views on the official Facebook page of the largest celebration of Irish culture and values,, the release noted.

In addition to the Facebook views – 10 times higher than last year – there were 165,000 visits to, the official website of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, with continuous updates from the parade March 17. There also were four million Snapchats, 241,000 Twitter impressions and extensive activity on Periscope and other social media platforms.

An estimated 200,000 people marched up Fifth Avenue on St. Patrick’s Day, continuing the tradition of New York City hosting the largest celebration of St. Patrick and of Irish values and culture in the world. More than one million people lined Fifth Avenue on March 17.

WNBC-TV 4 reports 586,000 viewers watched the live parade broadcast from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for the first time ever, millions of viewers in Ireland and the United Kingdom were able to watch the parade live on IRISH TV.

Besides the live four-hour broadcast, millions of readers and viewers read, heard or saw media accounts of the historic parade, featuring Senator George Mitchell, the author of the historic Northern Ireland peace accord, as grand marshal.

“St. Patrick, our patron saint and someone who knew the importance of spreading the message, would be proud of our dedicated volunteers and the work they did updating our social media platforms,” said St. Patrick’s Day Parade Board Chairman John Lahey said.

The volunteers include Thomas Heaney, Virginia Byrne, Ken Kraetzer, David Altman, Bridget O’Brien and Scott Prestopino.

“Thanks also to the hard work of the hundreds of volunteers who spent so many hours planning for the parade and them making sure it went off so smoothly and to the dedicated members of the parade Board of Directors, in particular our chief operating officers Hilary Beirne and Frank McGreal,” Lahey added.