The 255th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City will see more than 200,000 marchers in more than 320 Irish affiliate groups and bands marching up Fifth Avenue on March 17. They will be lead by this year’s Grand Marshal, Senator George Mitchell, who negotiated the Good Friday Peace Agreement. The news was announced on Thursday by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Board Chairman Dr. John Lahey.

All of the traditional Irish organizations, including 49 Ancient Order of Hibernians groups, have signed up to march, parade organizers report.

The Fighting 69th, the 69th Infantry Regiment, is the first unit in the line of march. There will be 150 bands, including the New York Police Department Emerald Society Pipes & Drums and the Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, as well as pipers from Galicia, Spain.

“Thanks to the support of the Irish community of New York and the Irish government, and the dedication of the parade organizers, this year’s parade will be a great tribute to St. Patrick, our patron saint, and a memorable celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, the birth of Irish independence,” Lahey said.

“It will be a real honor this year to march with Senator George Mitchell, a truly global champion of peace.”

Units from Óglaigh na hÉireann, the Irish Defense Forces, and An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s national police service, also will march.

The 255th St. Patrick’s Day parade begins at 44th Street and proceeds up Fifth Avenue to 79th Street in Manhattan on March 17, starting at 11am

The parade will be broadcast live on WNBC-TV 4, Thursday, March 17, and live-streamed on