By Kaylee Lindenmuth
GIRARDVILLE - The borough was a sea of green Saturday afternoon, as at least a thousand spectators donned green shirts, hats, beads, and more for the 16th Annual Girardville St. Patrick's Day Parade.
This year's event was scheduled later in March after two straight years of winter weather-related postponements.
The parade began at the east end of Main Street, and proceeded nearly the entire length of the main road, turning right and crossing the Mahanoy Creek at Julia Street, making another right onto Ogden eastbound, passing the Rangers Fire Company, and winding onto "A" Street back to the parade's staging area.
The grand marshals for this year's parade were the members of the Girardville Good Times Club.
Prior to the parade's start, Main Street and 2nd Street were a sea of green as spectators walked along the route, finding the best vantage points.
Throughout the event, vendors walked around with carts of assorted items, while food items were sold from trucks, a stand at the Girardville Ambulance, Rangers Fire Company, among others.
A nine-year-old from Ringtown, Tanner Quinn, helped sell items for a fundraiser for two community organizations as well.
This year's parade featured a multitude of musical groups, ranging from the usual bagpipe bands like Brian Boru Pipes and Drums, of Bridgeport, to traditional marching bands, such as the Upper Schuylkill Marching Band, of Shenandoah.
Parade participants included Ancient Order of Hibernians chapters from across the Commonwealth, political candidates for Schuylkill County Commissioner, dancing contingents, and even military equipment.
The Mount Carmel Area School District's ThinkBIG group had a float in the parade, and class members solicited donations for their cause throughout the route.
Classic and active fire apparatus from around the region also participated in Saturday's parade.
Police officers from Port Carbon, Shenandoah, the Pennsylvania State Police, Schuylkill County Sheriff's Office, among others, were on-hand during the parade for the safety of spectators, while EMS units from Shenandoah, Ashland, among others were on stand-by.
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