NEW YORK - Irish eyes were smiling Friday for the 256th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Midtown.

The parade stepped off at 11 a.m. and took its familiar path up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo were among the elected officials to march.

Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling, a native of Ireland, served as grand marshal.

Before it all began, Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a special mass.

The archbishop led the service at St. Patrick's Cathedral which honors the patron saint of Ireland.

And for those Catholics planning to indulge in some corned beef and cabbage, you have Cardinal Timothy Dolan's blessing.

Even though St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday this year, the New York Archdiocese says Catholics don't have to abstain from eating meat.

During lent, Catholics observe no-meat Fridays.

While New York certainly has one of the larger celebrations, there are many folks showing off their Irish pride across the nation and world.

Touted as the second-largest parade in the nation, a celebration of all things Irish weaved its way through Savannah, Georgia earlier Friday.

The parade has been a tradition since 1824.

At the White House, the fountain on the South Lawn is bubbling with green dyed water.

The Irish prime minister was there Thursday meeting with President Donald Trump.

In Brazil, the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was bathed in green light Thursday night.