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Happy St. Patty's Day | Writers In The Storm
By Lyn Horner St. Patrick's Day is observed on March 17, the date of the saint's death. In Ireland, it is a day of obligation for Catholics as well as a secular holiday. In other countries, it's a day to celebrate Ireland and Irish ancestry. The first St.Patrick's Day parade took place on March 17, 1762, in New York City. Irish soldiers serving in the British army marched through the city streets to the sound of music from their native land. In following years, descendants of the emerald isle formed Irish aid societies such as the Hibernian Society and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, and held yearly parades. Eventually the various groups came together to sponsor the official New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade. The custom soon spread to other cities, including Chicago. Fifty years ago, in March 1962, Chicagoans began another tradition. They dyed the Chicago River green in honor of their annual St. Patrick's Day celebration. The river has undergone the dye job every year since