Local Leaders Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Buffalo

GOP & Democrats Set Differences Aside to Celebrate

Mike Baggerman
March 17, 2017 - 3:54 pm

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Local leaders gathered at the Buffalo Irish Center for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and Congressman Brian Higgins were among the highest-profiled official in attendance at the Irish Center but others including local assemblymen and assemblywomen, state senators, GOP and Democratic Officials, Bishop Richard Malone, and Mayor Byron Brown were also there.

“It’s a great tradition,” Congressman Higgins told WBEN. “This luncheon is sold out every year and it’s a great celebration of who we are as a people. A great celebration as to the Irish in America and the Irish in Buffalo. I come from a family of union brick-layers. This is a land of great promise.”

The website “wallethub.com” recently ranked Buffalo as the No. 1 city to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

“I think because Buffalo was rated this week as the best place in America to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day there’s no finer tradition than being at the South Buffalo Irish Center to kick things off,” Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said. “There’s a lot of political folks here but everyone comes together as Buffalonians. Everyone is an honorary Irishman here today.”

Though Lent is in effect until Easter, Bishop Malone made an exception and allowed for the consumption of meat on St. Patrick’s Day.

“In the catholic tradition and some other christian traditions we do not eat meat (on Friday’s) as a way of recalling the death of Jesus on Good Friday,” Malone said about lent. “The Bishop has the authority to allow the people to choose another day instead of st. Patrick’s Day to observe the abstinence. They can take some other day and enjoy the corned beef today. It’s called a commutation.”

Even though local members of both political parties were in attendance and despite the constant barbs thrown towards each side, for one day, they set aside their differences.

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