GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Irish culture and traditions were on full display late Saturday morning in downtown Grand Rapids.

Hundreds lined the streets for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s the official kick-off of the week-long celebration.

There were about 25 different entries in this year’s parade including marching bands and Irish dancers.

Patrick Sullivan, one of the parade organizers with the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, told News 8 there was a much larger crowd compared to last year.

“The wonderful weather gathered a crowd that was much greater than the prior year. We really appreciate everyone coming out and showing support,” Sullivan said.

Paradegoers adorned in their green along the city streets agreed.

“It feels really good to be with family and out with people I don’t even know to actually socialize with. It’s nice to be outside. It’s sunny. It’s great,” one woman visiting from Chicago said.

Thousands of people are expected to fill the streets next Saturday for the Irish on Ionia Festival.