Sun shines on the Irish
Downtown Jim Thorpe, and reportedly the full length of Broadway, were filled to capacity as spectators flooded into town under perfect skies to enjoy the 15th Annual Carbon County St. Patrick's Day Parade in the county seat borough.
Blessed with perfect weather Sunday and a turnout that was possibly the largest in the event's history Broadway in Jim Thorpe once again bustled with activity and music as thousands of spectators lined the route of the parade celebrating St. Patrick and Irish heritage.
One's national heritage did not need to be Irish in order to enjoy the 15th Annual Carbon County St. Patrick's Day Parade in the county seat.
Townspeople and visitors lined the historic street in Jim Thorpe to watch and enjoy the many marchers, bands, groups, and vehicles.
The parade is 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.
The 2012 parade was dedicated to America's Armed Forces: veterans, past, present, and future.
This year's Grand Marshall, Charles "Chuck" Thamarus, and his aides moved from the parade to the porch of The Inn at Jim Thorpe to join the spectators in enjoying the parade.
Thamarus, who was born on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1948, has played a steady and significant role in AOH activities since it began locally, having held the offices of president, sentinel, recording secretary, and, in 2007, was named "Hibernian of the Year".
Aides to the Grand Marshall were Francis Thamarus, Kevin Thamarus, Molly Ebbert, and Kathleen Ahner.
Music for the 2012 parade was provided by eight bagpipe bands, two drum and bugle corps, and the Jim Thorpe Area High School Marching Band.
Marchers included 12 fire companies and emergency services organizations from 10 municipalities across Carbon County; nine military groups; two schools of Irish dance; and eight units of government representing federal, state, county, and local government; and 28 other groups and organizations.
There were six AOH and LAOH divisions representing five counties - Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, Lycoming, and Delaware.
In total, this year's parade consisted of 703 marchers and more than 100 vehicles.
While the crowd downtown was near overflow capacity, spectators were out in large numbers all along the entire length of the parade.
One organization that is a yearly favorite with the crowd made sure that no one nodded off during the parade.
Adding to the overall excitement of the day, the 81st Pennsylvania Company K, Civil War Reenactors, marching in Division 1, had parade spectators jumping each time that they fired off a volley with their Civil War era rifles.
The AOH expressed their thanks and appreciation to all of the sponsors who helped make the parade possible.
They also thanked the Borough of Jim Thorpe, the Jim Thorpe Police Department, the Jim Thorpe Fire Department, and the Jim Thorpe Public Service Department for their assistance in making this year's parade a success.