About 14 people representing the upcoming Gay Games 9 marched Monday in Cleveland's St. Patrick's Day parade.

The inclusion of a gay organization was a first for Cleveland's annual parade.

“I wasn't aware that we were the first LGBT-themed group to march in the St. Paddy's parade until it was over,” Kevin Schmotzer, a board member of Gay Games 9, told the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “It feels great.”

“We had a lot of applause and clapping and cheering,” Schmotzer said of response from spectators. “There was definitely a lot of excitement from a lot of people who saw who we were.”

The inclusion stands in contrast to parades in New York City and Boston, where organizers have banned gay groups from St. Patrick's Day parades.

Gay Games 9, a sports and cultural festival, will take place in August in venues throughout Cleveland and Akron.