St. Patrick’s Day parade brings sea of green to downtown Denver

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DENVER -- An estimated 500,000 people lined the streets of downtown Denver on Saturday to watch the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in what looked like a sea of green.

Spectators came well prepared. Front-row seats on the curb started filling up at 7:30 a.m., two hours before the parade even started. The Denver St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee said close to 225 floats and entries were featured, along with performances from bagpipers and step-dancers.

“It’s like one of the biggest parades and we just have a blast coming here," said Melinda Kilpatrick, who brought her family for the 12th year in a row. "Everybody gets into it. Everybody is just so happy and it’s so much fun.”

Another spectator, Alex Sierra, said he loves the bagpipes.

“The sound of the bagpipes, it’s so, I mean it just gives me goose bumps,” said Sierra, who added he attends the parade every year.

Many agreed the parade has become the single largest gathering of Colorado residents every year in one place, where everyone sets aside their own heritage to become Irish for a day.

And the party continued into the night as the celebration included drinking. Law enforcement agencies across the state are stepping up patrols for a full week.

It's part of a campaign called "The Heat is on" which runs through the year and calls for increased patrols especially on national holidays and at large public events.

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