St. Patrick's Day Parade Marks 25th Year in Bucks County
The threat of snow did not stop hundreds from turning out to watch the 25th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Walking around the grounds of St. Joseph the Worker Church Saturday morning, Connor Galloway appeared to be on a first name basis with each of the 100-plus dancers, musicians and marchers that had gathered for the 25th Annual Bucks County St. Patrick's Day Parade.
It's the kind of familiarity that comes with being a major participant of the annual event each and every year.
"My father, George, and my uncles and grandfather hatched a plan for the parade in 1988," Connor said. "I've been helping out ever since."
Betty Brooks has also attended the parade every year. She usually helps out in the church kitchen by handing out coffee, doughnuts and refreshments. There was no chance she would miss this year's event, especially since she had been named grand marshal.
"It's such a big honor for me and my whole family," said Brooks, proudly displaying the honorary shillelagh created by George Galloway and given each year to the parade grand marshal.
She was joined on the parade route by her husband, Tony, her daughters Shannon, Jacqueline and Emily and her grandchildren Benjamin, Darrien and Camryn, as well as members of her extended family.
This is also the 25th year that members of the Fitzpatrick School of Irish Dance hopped and kicked their way down New Falls Road to Conwell-Egan Catholic School. School Director Maggie Fitzpartick Guenther has watched her classes double and triple in size as Irish dance became more popular.
"We had 25 kids the first year of the parade," Guenther said. "Today we have 200 marching dancers, and that's not every student enrolled with us. This such a great showcase for the school and the dancers. We thought a couple days ago it was going to be canceled, the kids were so upset."
The parade kicked off at 10:30 a.m. and not even the snow put a damper on the day's festivities.