by Marianne Christy
The inch of snow that fell Friday morning, March 18 magically disappeared under sunny skies just in time for the launch of the Old Forge St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Despite the chilly temperatures and the start of the Webb School break, parade organizers said there were more entries and spectators than in the past couple of years…giving announcers Nick Bankert and Gary Staab and Emcee Jeff Craig a lot to talk about.
According to Melissa Macdonald, who judged the parade along with Jane Cameron and Tim and Beth McCarthy, this year’s parade entries brought their A games to Main Street.
And she should know, having been a previous five-time winning group participant.
“It was one of the best ever…it made it very difficult to choose a winner,” Macdonald said.
But when all the votes were tallied, it was a tie for first place between The St. Paddy Wagon/ Green is the New Black and Shenanigals Trump Jokers. First runner up was The Carmen McRandas, and there was a tie for the People’s Choice Award between the Inlet Barnstormers’ Leprechaun Un-Precision Drill Team & Drillettes and the Irish Security Kids/The Moops.
The first place ensemble winners are perennial parade participants with the Trump group celebrating its 10th consecutive year of competition in the event’s 17-year history.
Also joining in the festivities were Senator Hugh Farley, Assemblyman Marc Butler, former Supreme Court Judge Michael Daly, Herkimer County Legislators Patrick Russell, Jim Bono and Bernie Peplinski.
Following the parade revelers gathered at the Old Forge Fire Hall for green beverages, soda bread, music and Irish stew provided by Chip, Katie and Charlie Kiefer, Old Tom Morris Pub & Grill, and Last Run Café.
Next year’s parade could possibly be the biggest yet as it will fall on March 17…stay tuned, folks.