OLMSTED TOWNSHIP -- The West Side Irish American Club has over 3,000 members.
On March 17, they'll each greet you the same way.
"They'll say 'Happy St. Patrick's Day,' and you'll be able to hear it annunciated very well," says Kevin McDonough.
McDonough is vice president of the WSIA, one of the most active Irish society clubs in Northeast Ohio.
No matter how far back the Irish heritage goes, everyone at the club knows that calling the day honoring the Patron Saint of Ireland by slang, is offensive.
"I tell people not to say 'St. Paddy's Day.' It bothers me," says member John Lavelle.
"Paddy" is a term that hurts many Irish. It was the term unkindly bestowed upon the immigrants who came from Ireland at the turn of the 20th century.
"I'm sure most Americans don't understand it's an offensive term, but it can be to some people here," McDonough said.
Mark Owens is also from Ireland. A scholarship to John Carroll University brought him to Cleveland 11 years ago. He became a U.S. citizen last year.
He says the celebration for Saint Patrick is not nearly as raucous in Ireland as it is in America.
"I was surprised my first time. The parade here is massive, compared to back home. Especially in Cleveland," Owens says.
Helen Malloy served as the first female grand marshal of the annual parade.
For many at the WSIA, St. Patrick's Day usually begins with a meet up at the club in Olmsted Township, followed by a trip to St. Colman's Catholic Church for mass and music.
Then, it's on to the parade downtown, where they'll march and play with over two dozen other local Irish societies.
The 17th ends back at the club, for fellowship with family, friends and food.
"We do get upset when the papers show only the bad things of the day, not all the good things that take place," Malloy said. "We're proud of being Irish. We're proud of being American. They both go together."