'Leprechauns' Banned from St. Patrick's Day Parade

It seems the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York has always got someone complaining about being left out. This years it's — believe it or not — the leprechauns. They've been barred from the march because of restrictions on costumes.

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JACKI LYDEN, Host:

Well as they have for 246 years, the Hibernians marched through the streets of Manhattan on this St. Patrick's Day. Surely St. Patty couldn't have foreseen the controversy the parade engendered. In past years, the New York organizers have drawn ire by banning gay groups, by having a former IRA soldier as grand marshal, and saints preserve us, what's raised hackles again this year is a ban on the wee people, the leprechauns.

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JIM GLASER: This is Jim Glaser of Leprechauns Against Boring Parades. And we are protesting the fact that they do not allow costumes in the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade.

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GLASER: I'm wearing a lime-green tiger outfit and a leprechaun hat and wee buckles on my boots.

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GLASER: Two years ago when we tried to enter, we had the most amazing costumes, a big Muppet head, a spanky o' monkey(ph) and a bunch of leprechauns and all of the police officers at the crosswalks were trying to let us into the parade while the Ancient Order of Hibernian people kept threatening to get us arrested. And we decided after that that protesting the parade would actually be more fun, standing here in our little protest pen with all of our signs and all of our friends.

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GLASER: We will be dancing the jig all day. It's a little cold out here today.

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LYDEN: The Supreme Court has ruled that a parade is an exercise in free expression and organizers can exclude anyone they want to, even leprechauns. Just don't expect to have them show that pot of gold.

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