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In Pictures: St Patrick's Day 2010

By Victoria O'Hara

Shamrocks, massive butterflies and an award-winning rapper created a carnival atmosphere for thousands of revellers on St Patrick’s Day yesterday.

Not even an imminent birth could stop one woman from coming to watch the spring-themed Belfast parade.

The City Hall was the starting point for the parade, which made its way to Custom House Square, led by colourful floats from The Beat Initiative.

In Video: Belfast's St Patrick's Day parade

Thousands of people lined the streets to enjoy the spectacle including pregnant Belfast woman Natalie McQuade, whose due date was yesterday.

“I did not think I would be going anywhere, and thought why not come down!” she joked.

The patron saint’s day was also celebrated in Downpatrick — the reputed burial site of Saint Patrick.

And in Londonderry thousands turned out for the Springtime in Wonderland parade, with lively samba and marching bands.

There were parades too in Omagh, Armagh and Coleraine.

At around 1pm the celebrations continued at Custom House Square with a range of traditional and contemporary music acts, including MOBO award winner Chipmunk.

The celebration was brought to a close by 2008 X Factor finalist Ruth Lorenzo.

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