Snakes alive! The 2010 St Patrick's Day Parade in New York WON'T be getting cut back like the rest of the year's celebrations in the city.

The New York Police Department has ordered all parades to cut their routes back by 25 per cent and make sure the parade clocks in at under five hours.

That means that the Macy's parade, the West Indians, Puerto Ricans and Gay Priders will all have to restrain themselves while the Irish serenely promenade up Fifth Avenue

Why's that? Because the order goes into effect April 1, two weeks after, ahem, NYPD Commish Ray Kelly leads the Irish up the avenue.

Are these two things connected? We're told not.

Anyway, it's a good idea to knock this idea as far forward into the future as possible.

Herding cats at a crossroads would be easier than trying to speed up the Irish on March 17.

Good luck with that NYPD!