NYPD at St. Patrick's Parade (with photos)

By Perry Russom

March 3, 2013 Updated Mar 4, 2013 at 10:54 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For the past 20 years, the Emerald Society has been marching on St. Patrick's Parade Day.

The group, made up of the New York City Police Department, arrived Saturday morning prepared to march.

"We are all here for the common goal," Jim Coughlan, Emerald Society member, said. "To improve musicianship and the heritage we all share."

This year, the Emerald Society sent 50 of their 120 band members to Binghamton.

"It's our first parade for St. Patrick's Day," John Smyth, senior member, said. "It means everything to us."

The band's two sections consist of drummers and bagpipers.

"(Bagpiping) is very big in the Irish culture in America and in the service organizations," Sgt. Brian Coughlan said.

Band members said one of the benefits of marching on March 2 is that it isn't on St. Patrick's Day.

"It gives us the opportunity to be here because if it was on the same day (as St. Patrick's Day), you'd get a lot less bands here," Jim Coughlan said. "In New York City, the parade is the oldest and largest in the country so every band wants to be in New York on that day."

The Emerald Society will head back to NYC on Sunday morning to prepare for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Big Apple.

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