Thousands gather for Manchester St Patrick's Day parade

Thousands of people have lined the streets of Manchester for the annual St Patrick's Day Parade.

The parade, along a three mile circular route, is the highlight of the city's 10-day annual Irish Festival.

More than 1,000 people were involved in the parade led by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and other civic dignitaries.

The parade began at the Irish World Heritage Centre at 11:30 GMT, moves into the city centre ending with a return to the centre.

Coordinated by the heritage centre, the parade was made up of marching bands, traditional Irish music and dancing groups, county associations, Gaelic football and hurling teams and the Rose of Tralee beauty competition finalists.

Parade organiser Brian Kennedy said: "It is a great free day out for all the family and everyone in Manchester wears something green and puts a smile on their face.

"They say it rains in Manchester, but we always seem to have the luck of the Irish and the sun always shines on the parade, even when it's snowing!"

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