PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Marchers and spectators at the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade through Portland relied on Irish pride to stay warm.

Promptly at noon on Sunday, the sound of bagpipes echoed down Commercial Street to signal the start of the parade. If the music wasn't enough to make kids smile then the candy being thrown from the passing floats certainly did the trick, although it was no easy task to grab a Tootsie Roll off the pavement with hands covered by mittens.

While the kids were well-bundled for the cold, some of the marchers weren't so lucky. It takes a special dedication to wear a kilt with temperatures barely cracking 20 degrees. But everyone who came out knew what they were getting into, and they didn't seem to mind, at least not the ones who spoke to NEWS CENTER.

The parade was organized by the Irish American Club of Maine. And after the street was cleared, the celebration continued at the Maine Irish Heritage Center on Gray Street. The center has more activities planned when the holiday officially arrives on Friday.