By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ireland’s ambassador to the United States was in Philadelphia today on a trip from Washington, DC to celebrate those who strengthen ties between the US and Ireland.

The Philadelphia-based Irish American Business Chamber & Network held its annual ambassador awards, honoring businesses and individuals.

Television stations CBS-3 and the CW Philly 57 were among recipients, for their St. Patrick’s Day parade broadcasts.

Irish ambassador Ann Anderson, the first female ever in that post, presented the awards.

“It’s tremendously important,” she said.  “I think that there are those who can come and participate in the parade, but there are a lot of other people who, for whatever reason, cannot actually be out on the street.  So for them to be in their homes and see the pictures and feel part of it — because that is really what St. Patrick’s Day should be.  It should be a day of pride (and) celebration.”

She noted that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland decades ago were more reflective, but things have changed and have become more festive, like here in the US.

But is there green beer?

“No, that is an invention of America, I have to say.  So far we haven’t moved to the green beer in Ireland,” she said with a smile.