CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- From marching bands, bugs with bubbles to dogs -- you could call it the happiest parade of the year in uptown.

Skies cleared up just in time in uptown Charlotte for the 21st annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Everyone was a little Irish for a day, as crowds hit the streets to take part in the festivities.

"We're visiting from Savannah, but we heard Charlotte is the best," said Kim Street. "We wanted to come and take a look."

Street brought the family and said Charlotte's parade lives up to the type.

"This is our first time here and I can't believe it," Street said. "You guys are really comparable to Savannah."

The massive show --- more than hundreds of groups marched down Tryon Street -- is one of the biggest yet. The man leading the way as Grand Marshal this year has been its director for the last 20 parades.

For Art Fitzgerald, Saturday was the day he retired and was on top of the floats, instead of calling the shots as the director. Fitzgerald says the parade is in good hands and believes it will keep getting bigger.

"Hopefully we don't run out of Irish people," Fitzgerald says.