St. Patrick's Day Parade Struts Through Levittown
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 more than one hundred 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," said Connor. "I've been helping out ever since."
It's a rain or shine parade, not even the Saturday morning snow that began to lightly fall just minutes before the 10:30 start time and gradually got heavier was going to put a stop to the popular community celebration.
Betty Brooks has also attended the parade every year, usually helping out in the church kitchen with handing out coffee, doughnuts and refreshments. There was no chance she would miss this year's event, considering 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 to 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," said Guenther. "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."