While the Irish and non-Irish alike will officially celebrate St. Patrick’s Day next weekend, people in Halifax took to the streets six days early. 

Dressed in green, dozens kicked off celebrations with the 11th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Halifax Sunday afternoon.

It was one of several events happening in the city to commemorate the patron saint of Ireland.

With a long historic link between Ireland and Nova Scotia, parade organizers said celebrations aim to make Ireland’s influence known around the world.

"The Irish have had such a huge influence on culture you even have people who aren't Irish want to be Irish and of course on March 17 everybody's Irish,” said parade participant Cheryl Doherty. “I think it's just an innate joy of living and people want to be part of that whether they have the heritage you're not.”

Sunday’s parade was organized by volunteers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society.

Organizers are encouraging the people of Halifax to wear green again and join in the fun March 17 for the official Irish holiday.