Members of the St. Patrick's Day Foundation ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade in New York will be held Saturday, but the celebration starts Friday when the St. Patrick's Day Foundation and the grand marshal of the parade ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite.

The St. Patrick's Day parade is one of the city's oldest and greatest traditions. The first parade was in 1762, and was comprised of Irish ex-patriots and Irish military members serving with the British army stationed in the New York colonies.

Forward more than 250 years later, every March 17 (except when it falls on a Sunday), the parade continues to be the oldest and largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world.

The foundation supports the parade as well as student scholarships, education and cultural events throughout the year.

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