St. Patrick's Day Parade returns to Philadelphia after 2-year hiatus

The parade was organized by the Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Observance Association.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The 250th St. Patrick's Day Parade was back in Philadelphia after it took a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19.

The parade was organized by the Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Observance Association.

The route started at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard, went through the historic Independence Mall area, and ended at Penn's Landing. The performance area and main grandstands were located at 5th and Market streets.

"I love Irish dancing. I like showing it to people," said Lizzie King of Fox Chase.

King's dance school director said, despite the chilly weather, the show must go on.

"We wish that Mother Nature worked a little bit better with us and that it was a little bit warmer, but they will survive. I think that the excitement and the anxiety of it all will warm them up," said Beth Timoney, director of Pride of Erin School of Irish Dance.

Many kept warm by standing in the sun.

"That's why we stood here because the sun is directly on us because it is chilly out today so we're wearing layers," said Debbi Smith from Media, Pennsylvania.

Some friends coordinated outfits just in case they get separated in the sea of green.

"If we get lost, we can go and say well she's wearing this," said Loretta Sawyer of Somers Point, New Jersey.

Dan Kelly, of Boothwyn, said he's been coming for 10 years and was happy to see JFK Boulevard filled with the luck of the Irish again.

"It's awesome," said Kelly.

Participants and spectators were encouraged to stay home if they felt sick. Folks Action News spoke with said they felt comfortable in the crowd.

"I see people have been wearing their masks, and people have been getting the vaccine, so I feel like I'm fine," said Robin Simpson of Bala Cynwyd.

For some little ones, this was their first time at the parade.

"It's great to, you know, be with family, get out post-COVID. Today's a really beautiful day and this is her first time," said Lauren McGeary of Middletown Delaware.
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