The city of Utica kicked off St. Patrick's Day festivities this afternoon. People gathered at City Hall for the annual ceremonial raising of the Irish flag.
Following a brief ceremony, the grand marshal of this year's St. Patrick's Day parade, Utica Fire Chief Russ Brooks, lead a procession from City Hall to Hanna Park.
Attendees say today they are remembering and paying tribute to their ancestors.
"St. Patrick's Day isn't just about drinking and having a good time although that is important, it's also to remember our religious background. St. Patrick of course is the symbol of this for us. As we march in the St. Patrick's Day parade, it gives us a time to think back and let us know why we are here," said Dan Fitzgerald, a member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.
Today's ceremony is the start to a weekend filled with festivities, including the annual parade down Genesee Street.