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Philadelphia Celebrates Irish Heritage At Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia's St. Patrick's Day Parade took over Center City Sunday, giving people a chance to celebrate everything Irish.

Thousands of people lined Market Street for the city's 248th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

"This is my Christmas," said one spectator. "Best day ever!"

Although the day is a celebration of Irish heritage, people from all ethnic backgrounds were encouraged to come out and have a good time.

"I'm not Irish, but I'm part Irish now, because I married into Irish. I just love the celebration. It's really fun."

For some, the Irish music and dancing take a back seat to the food.

"I'm getting me a couple of Irish breakfasts; blood sausage, eggs, potatoes, all kinds of meats, all kinds of different food."

According to the Census Bureau, nearly 15 percent of Philadelphia's population identifies as Irish-American, making it the third largest population of people of with Irish ancestry in the country.

And the celebration doesn't end when the parade is over.

"I like after the parade, meeting down South Street. They have all the bagpipes playing, and you're drinking some beers. It's a good time."

Philadelphia boasts the third oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country.

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