Cold, wet Dublin braces for St. Patrick's Day

DUBLIN (AP) - Never mind the Irish weather. A chilly, damp Dublin is wrapping up warm for St. Patrick's Day.

A half-million revelers are expected to line the capital's streets for the traditional holiday parade Sunday, a 3-kilometer (2-mile) jaunt through the city's heart.

Unusually, 8,000 tourists in town for the festivities are leading this year's procession. The gesture is connected to a year-long tourism promotion called The Gathering that is organizing hundreds of clan reunions nationwide.

Since 1997 Dublin has expanded St. Patrick's Day into a multi-day festival featuring special children's playgrounds, street amusement parks, concerts and walking tours. Irish President Michael D. Higgins is hosting a nationally televised TV show featuring many of Ireland's top artists and musicians. Most of the city's most famous buildings are floodlit green at night.

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