As light flurries blew through and temperatures dropped to their lowest numbers in years, some questioned whether or not the 2017 Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade would march on or be delayed. The parade committee posted their very Irish response on Facebook the night before:
We have been receiving a lot of questions this morning about the weather. The Irish in North Eastern Pennsylvania came here due to hard times in Ireland. Our ancestors went through the worst of times ever when they arrived here. There is no possible way that a couple inches of snow and a nip in the air are going to stop us tomorrow!!! Put on an extra layer of green…..Hope to see you all out in the streets!
On Saturday, March 11, festive patrons did don a few more layers, though the bitter cold kept the majority of the crowds away. Typically, Scranton boasts that it is the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country (for cities with a population over 50,000), with over 12,000 participants and about 100,000 spectators annually. Despite this, leprechauns, knights in full suits of armor, colorful mascots and clowns, and marching bands dotted the emerald lineup that wrapped around downtown as patrons hit the bars.
Special guests this year included former teen pop star and current Sony recording artist Aaron Carter performing on local pop radio station 98.5 KRZ’s float. Scranton rock band Nowhere Slow braved the weather and still managed to pack their annual show at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel while other musicians like Scranton singer/songwriter Tom Graham stayed warm inside The Bog.
The festivities began with the Parade Day Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral at 10 a.m., followed by the Brian P. Kelly Memorial Two-Mile Footrace at 11 a.m. before the parade kicked off just before noon at Mulberry Street and Wyoming Avenue, ending earlier this year due to the weather.
by Keith Perks
Keith is an artist, photographer, and writer. He loves diners, dive bars, Southern culture, anything Irish, and vintage America. He knows Cytoxan kicks in after about eight hours and he once helped save a green pig.