THOUSANDS of happy people snaked round Huddersfield town centre yesterday on the town's annual St Patrick's Day parade.

The event, now in its fifth year, attracted record crowds along its route through the town.

The parade, which started at the Huddersfield Irish Centre on Fitzwilliam Street, also took in John William Street, Market Street, Westgate and Castlegate.

The crowd, many of whom waved Irish flags, were also treated to the sight of 10 floats, two bands and seven groups, who represented the whole spectrum of the Irish community.

The floats included ones from St Patrick's Primary School, the Mna Na H'Eireann (Women of Ireland) and the Frances Cassidy School of Irish Dancing.

Two bands came across from Ireland to help with the celebrations.

The Brosna Ceili Band got people in the mood for the ``craic" while the marching band with the parade was The Millstreet Pipe Band from Cork.

As well as playing in the parade, both played a concert on the parade's eve.

Parade secretary John McLoughlin said the fine weather helped on the day.

He added: "The weather has been fantastic. The sun was shining and it allowed us to portray the parade in all its colour.

"It's full of colour and culture and it's given us the chance to show our Irish acts, together with our local artists.

"This year has been the longest procession I can remember. More and more people are joining in every year and they want to be part of it.

"The parade was great, it was a wonderful success and full of smiling faces."