Keep St. Patrick's Day happy - and safe, says NYS

Mar 17, 2017

Police around New York State will be cracking down on drunken driving and underage drinking this St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the law enforcement campaign ahead of Friday's holiday. The effort includes sobriety checkpoints, stepped up vehicle patrols and ID inspections at bars.

Police will be looking for drivers who have had too much to drink or who are using their cellphones while driving. They will also be looking for minors in possession of alcohol, or bars, restaurants and retail shops selling alcohol to those under 21.

A similar campaign last year by state police resulted in 257 DWI arrests and more than 17,000 tickets.

WalletHub.com recently named Buffalo as America's overall best city for St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The personal finance website compared 200 of the country's largest cities across 16 metrics, including the number of Irish pubs and restaurants per capita, lowest prices for hotels, how many years the St. Patrick's Day parades have run and the number of St. Patrick's Day events.

Downtown Buffalo's St. Patrick's Day Parade will be led by Grand Marshall Jeff Wilson. After many years of volunteering, Wilson was elected to the Executive Committee of the United Irish American Association.

The parade will march down Delaware Avenue Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. There will be a holiday mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Malone at St. Joseph's Cathedral on Sunday beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Buffalo's Old First Ward got an early start on the holiday celebrations. The Old Neighborhood St. Patrick's Day Parade was held on March 11.

Thursday was Irish Book Day, when free books by Irish and Irish-American authors are distributed to mark the St. Patrick’s holiday and to celebrate Irish culture. Western New York business, community and government leaders will be wearing the green on Friday at the Buffalo Irish Center's 46th Annual Civic Luncheon marking the holiday.