NEW YORK (AP) — Elected officials joined thousands of marchers in a sea of blue and white flags along New York City’s Fifth Avenue for the annual Celebrate Israel parade.

Participants ranging from school-age children to adults came out Sunday under overcast skies for the event. Elected officials who marched included New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as Sen. Charles Schumer. Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber was an honorary grand marshal.

The event was formerly known as the Salute to Israel Parade, and marks the birth of the Jewish state in 1948. The thousands of people who take part include students from regional yeshivas and Jewish day schools, Jewish groups and synagogues.

At the parade Sunday, Cuomo declared the day as Shimon Peres Day.

“Shimon Peres was a phenomenal world leader. He had been in public service for 50 years. Prime minister of Israel, president of Israel, foreign minister of Israel, but he was a leader respected internationally,” Cuomo said. “When you were with him you believed and felt you were in the presence of greatness.”