Overflowing with Irish cheer
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Thousands of spectators were present along Broadway during the 14th Annual Carbon County St. Patrick's Day Parade in Jim Thorpe on Sunday.
Once against the streets of downtown Jim Thorpe rang out with the distinctive sound of bagpipes and the loud reports of Civil War-era rifles as the 14th Annual Carbon County St. Patrick's Day Parade made its way down Broadway Sunday afternoon.
The parade was sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Alec Campbell Division 1 of Carbon County and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernian Molly Maguire Division 1 of Carbon County.
While the crowd of spectators downtown was near overflow capacity, spectators were out in large numbers all along the entire length of the parade.
There was a bit of chill in the air, but the event enjoyed a rain-free day.
Before reaching the downtown area and the end of the parade, the marchers made two traditional stops along the way at Immaculate Conception Church and at the former Carbon County Prison.
This year's Grand Marshal Emmett McCall and his aides moved from the parade to the porch of The Inn at Jim Thorpe to join the thousands of spectators enjoying the parade.
The 2011 Parade included 10 Bagpipe bands, one Drum and Bugle Corps, four AOH and LAOH groups, a total of 634 marchers and 107 vehicles.
The bands appearing were the Pocono Regional Pipe & Drums; Brian Boru Pipe & Drums; Quittapahilla Highlanders; Lochiel Emerald Society; Celtic United Pipe & Drums; Loch Rannock; Hawk Mt. Highlanders; Ceol Neamh; Lehigh Valley Pipe & Drums; Nae Breeks Pipe & Drums; Blue Eagles Drum & Bugle Corps; and the Jim Thorpe Area High School Band.
In addition to the bands, also appearing in the parade were 15 Fire Companies and Emergency Service Organizations from 12 municipalities of Carbon County; nine military groups; the Kerry Irish Dancers; eight units of government representing state, county, and local officials; four AOH/LAOH divisions representing Carbon, Lehigh, and Delaware Counties, and 22 other groups and organizations.
One organization that is a yearly favorite with the crowd made sure that no one nodded off during the parade as they literally had the spectators jumping.
They were the 81st Pennsylvania Company K, Civil War Reenactors who always received a loud response from the spectators each time they fired off a volley with their Civil War-era rifles.
Bernadette Behan, the parade's program chairperson and the 2011 "Hibernian of the Year," noted that "all the bands were excellent and that many of them chose the Jim Thorpe parade over the one in Philadelphia because they like the hospitality that they are shown here."
Parking for parade goers was provided at the Carbon County parking lot with additional parking on the East side of the town and a shuttle bus service running back and forth every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The parade committee thanked the Borough of Jim Thorpe, the police and public service departments, and the Jim Thorpe Fire Department for their assistance in making this year's parade a success.