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DUBLIN (CBSMiami/AP) — Performers decked out as colorful creatures from Irish myths and legends danced down the streets of Dublin as Ireland celebrated its national saint during its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The event is something witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

Tourists and Dublin families, many of them donning leprechaun costumes, braved gusty winds to pack the route for Friday’s hour-long parade, the focal point for a four-day festival that marks the start of Ireland’s tourist season.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins joined spectators for a parade that emphasized Ireland’s artistic flair and worldwide connections. It included bands from Germany, France, Switzerland, several U.S. states and even the Bahamas.

Higgins said Ireland’s centuries of emigration to every corner of the globe represent “a constant feature of the Irish experience, defining us as a people.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The President and Sabina have arrived at O’Connell Street, to view the St. Patrick’s Day parade. <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) <a href=”″>March 17, 2017</a></blockquote>

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)