Atlanta, Ga. - St. Patrick's Day weekend opened with what seemed like a preview of spring, perfect weather and plenty of activities. Thousands turned out downtown to see the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Water fountains were shimmering with green water, and the streets were filled with revelers. It was even endorsed by a real Irishman.

"I'm from Belfast in Northern Ireland and I'm over here celebrating with the sun which is a rarity over there," Paul Hammond said. "And you guys celebrate St. Patrick's Day better than anybody."

11Alive asked several parade watchers to try out their Irish accents. You can judge the result, but that's the one thing Hammond said he's tired of hearing.

"Oh yes, but then again they get tired of me trying to fake a southern accent," Hammond said.

Sunday the Publix Georgia Marathon will take off from Centennial Olympic Park, and the International Auto Show will finish its final day.

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