For the better part of a generation, the exclusion of gay and lesbian groups from South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was an annual trope, generating more noise than understanding. Sunday, the old hullabaloo segued into a sweeter sound as the as members of Boston Pride and OUTVETS, a group of transgendered-, bisexual-, lesbian-, and gay-veterans, joined 114th  marching at the invitation of the parade’s organizers.

The inclusion of the two groups dissolved the cordon of conscience that had prevented many elected officials – most notably the late Boston mayor, Thomas Menino -- from participating.

The current mayor, Marty Walsh, who last year skipped the parade after his efforts to heal the divide were unavailing, was an ebullient participant, as were Republican Governor Charlie Baker, Democratic Senator Edward Markey, and Marine veteran and North Shore freshman Congressman Seth Moulton, who marched with OUTVETS.

This year’s comity, however, was not universal. The state chapter of the Knights of Columbus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in the western suburb of Harvard withdrew after the South Boston Allied War Veterans lifted its gay-group ban.

In a quiet way, the addition of two new groups and the exit of two stalwarts underscored the spirit of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sanctioned the right of the Allied War Veterans to invite whomever they chose based on the constitutional guarantee of freedom of association. The two traditionalist Roman Catholic groups that passed on the parade inversely were exercising their right not to join in.

Still, the “massive showdown” predicted by local cranks failed to materialize. Huge and enthusiastic crowds wearing green flocked to Southie, bagpipes droned, traditional dancers high-stepped, military formations looked smart, and musicians ranging from the aspirational to the professional did their things..

Some over celebrated. The Boston Globe reported that police issued 278 alcohol-related citations and arrested 10. But this was a footnote, traditional -- in its own human way -- as the event itself.

For a look at how the St. Patrick's Day political breakfast fared this year, keep an eye -- and an ear -- out for The Scrum, the political podcast of WGBH News.