Downtown Kings Park was a sea of green Saturday as hundreds gathered to celebrate all things Irish at the St. Patrick's Day parade -- one of the first of the season.

More than 100 groups, including bagpipe bands, fire and police departments, and the local school district marched in the parade.

"This is the beginning of the greatest month of the year," said Pat McLaughlin, 24, of Seaford, who plays snare drum for Saffron United Pipe Band of Babylon.

Rob Eggert stood at Lou Avenue and Pulaski Road, the start for the parade, just before noon wearing a green shirt, tie and hat. He said he came to spend time with friends.

"The whole community comes together on this day," said Eggert, 43, of Kings Park.

The parade was founded in 2011 by Kevin Denis, owner of Professors Diner in Kings Park.

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This year's grand marshal was Deacon John Trodden of St. Joseph's Parish in Kings Park.

Angelo Leteri, 36, of Smithtown, said he isn't Irish, but he was dressed almost head-to-toe in green as he sat in a DeLorean, one of the cars featured in the parade.

Leteri, who has participated all three years, said his favorite part of the parade is "the atmosphere."

Kathleen Ierano of Kings Park, who is of Irish descent, attended the festivities with her husband and three children.

"They love it," she said. " . . . We come every year. We're proud of our heritage."