- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) - Thousands of people turned out for one of the country’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades as people around the state have been celebrating the holiday.

Local media report the Atlanta parade kicked off at noon in Midtown Saturday. U.S. Rep. John Lewis was grand marshal.

WXIA-TV reports the parade was started by the city’s Hibernian Benevolent Society, a Catholic and Protestant fraternal organization. It has been held for the past 135 years.

Bystanders turned out in green attire to watch the roughly 2,000 dancers musicians, llamas, and Irish and local dignitaries march by.

In Savannah, on Friday hundreds of people gathered at Forsyth Park to celebrate the “Greening of the Fountain” where the fountain is dyed green.

The ceremony is a kid-friendly way to kick off the weeklong celebration in Savannah.

“Today has some magic it to it,” emcee Fred Elmgren said to the crowd. “As we turn this fountain green, all the fountains in the squares will turn green before we leave today.”

Savannah’s downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade runs from 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

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