Philadelphians show Irish spirit at St. Patrick's Day Parade

EMBED </>More News Videos

Clouds over the Ben Franklin Parkway couldn't dampen the spirits of parade-goes celebrating St. Patrick's Day. (WPVI)

Clouds over the Ben Franklin Parkway couldn't dampen the spirits of parade-goes celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

"We've been praying. We've been doing rain dances all day," said Jackie Wood of Northeast Philadelphia.

About 15,000 people marched in the historic parade - one of the country's oldest. Some groups were louder than others.

"He was afraid for the boom that he heard from the canon," said Lisa O'Rourke of Meadowbrook. "We got flags and hats and lots of lollipops."

Between the dancers and the pipes and drums, the spirit of Ireland was everywhere.

"My daughter's birthday is on St. Patty's Day. She'll be 11. So she thinks it's her parade. Yeah," said Valerie McIntyre of Northeast Philadelphia.

"I like to see the bands come by," said Jason Sahm of Bensalem. "She's very excited about the bands!"

While parade-goers say Sunday was about spending time with family and celebrating heritage, organizers say it's also about history - marking the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

"This was a very concerted effort, they rose up in 1916, they picked Easter Sunday, and it was a nationwide rebellion," said Judge James Lynn of the St. Patrick's Day Observance Association.

Even the Consul General of Ireland was there - her first Philadelphia parade. Compared to the more formal parades of Ireland, she called this parade joyous.

"Nothing prepared me for the sense of community and neighborliness and size of the parade," said Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland.

And folks say that's what being Irish - and Philadephian - is all about.

"It's just a nice time for all of us to get together. We're all Irish, we like to hang out and be able to enjoy each other together on this day," said Wood.
Related Topics:
newsphiladelphia newsSt. Patrick's DayparadeCenter City Philadelphia
(Copyright ©2017 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments