AN Irish garrison village first celebrated St Patrick's Day on the Westbury Village Green in 1820.
And for the past 17 years, the man himself has made an appearance.
Launceston man Jim Byrne dons his clover-green robes, staff and flowing beard every March 17 as Westbury celebrates its ties to the emerald isle.
Mr Byrne, whose family hails from County Wicklow south of Dublin, has taken part in the festival's parade of characters since 1996.
This year his daughter, Goldie, took on the role of the beautiful fishmonger Molly Malone, while granddaughter Eva Murrell-Tepaa was transformed into a snake-beating leprechaun.
``We just love it. It's very special to us because of our family's own Irish roots,'' Mr Byrne said.
The town's village green was filled with sights and sounds yesterday, with a range of traditional musicians, crafts and activities thrilling families.
Several other venues around the green also got into the spirit, with market stalls, folk music sessions, wood carvings and organ recitals providing an interesting sidebar to the main action.