Woodlawn Cemetery tour celebrates history of Irish people who helped shape NYC's history
St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner and some people celebrated the holiday at Woodlawn Cemetery on Sunday.
It was all about Celtic heritage and Irish pride on a tour of Woodlawn Cemetery in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
The cemetery's trolly takes guests to the final resting place prominent people of Irish descent, from entertainers to Civil War heroes.
"The Irish were so important in New York City's history, and it's great to visit these folks that played such an important role in the development of New York and the United States," said tour guide Kevin Fitzpatrick.
The tour has been rolling along every March for about five years, but it was author and historian Fitzpatrick's first time at the helm.
"It has long-lost stories of New York City history and they all have one thing in common: They're all buried in the Bronx forever," Fitzpatrick explained
The tour takes about an hour and a half to wind through just some of the cemetery's 400 acres, which is about half the size of Central Park.
Participants visit the gravesites and mausoleums of more than a dozen of Woodlawn's 300,000 underground residents.
"New York had such an Irish heritage and it's wonderful to see that they all ended up in the New York City area," said tour participant Peter Ribando.
Most on the tour already have a link to the Emerald Isle and a simple reason to join in.
"My grandparents came from Ireland and just to enjoy the architecture of all the different tombstones," tour participant John Lesch.
But some are especially excited with St. Patrick's Day just around the corner.
"It kind of puts the exclamation point on St. Patrick's Day," Ribando said.
For those missed Sunday's event, the cemetery offers other themed tours throughout the year.