Rain stops, parade goes on
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS With Parade Grand Marshall Hugh Dugan in the foreground, AOH member Darren Behan sings the Irish national anthem in both Gaelic and English before the start of the parade.
Call it a miracle - call it the Luck of the Irish - or call it a fact.
Any way you look at it, the truth is that after several days of sometimes torrential rainfall, and with the forecast and prospect for more of the same on Sunday, the rain stopped, just as the 13th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Jim Thorpe got under way Sunday afternoon.
Parade Grand Marshal Hugh Dugan, and his aides Noel Behan, Ron Sheenan, Rita O'Donnell, and Marie Mriss arrived at a rain-free reviewing stand when they reached the downtown area.
While there were no new attendance records to be set, all in all, the turnout for Sunday's "Wearin' of the Green" was very good considering the dreary outlook for the day.
Townspeople and visitors still lined the historic streets of downtown Jim Thorpe to watch and enjoy all of the marchers, bands, groups, and vehicles that were scheduled to attend.
The parade is organized and put on by the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), Alec Campbell, Mauch Chunk Division I, Carbon County.
The AOH expressed their thanks and appreciation to all of the sponsors who helped make the parade possible, including the Borough of Jim Thorpe, the Jim Thorpe Police Department, the Jim Thorpe Fire Department, and the Jim Thorpe Public Service Department.
They also thanked the Borough of Palmerton for supplying street barricades to help control traffic and the many area police departments that assisted in traffic control.
Many area fire departments participated, along with pieces of equipment from their departments, which especially delighted the youngsters along the parade route.
Fifteen bands, ranging from the Jim Thorpe Area High School band to many different pipe-bands, filled the downtown Jim Thorpe with non-stop music from the start to finish of the parade.
Music also filled the air on the new deck at the Molly Maguires Pub & Steakhouse, a major sponsor of the parade and bands.
This also marked the unofficial "grand opening" of the Behan family's large multipurpose facility with, at one point, a three pipe-band "jam" on the deck, thrilling the crowd and marking the event.
AOH committee member Ron Sheehan stated that just the entertainment for the parade cost $13,000 and the individuals and organizations that sponsor the bands are a tremendous help in making the parade possible.
Among those sponsors are: the Jim Thorpe National Bank; the Inn at Jim Thorpe; George's Transportation; Doug Rontz Signs; Tom Huber, parade announcer; and Carbon Career & Technical Institute marketing and graphics classes.