SCRANTON, Pa. — As the sounds of bagpipes filled the air, the St. Patrick's Parade was a welcomed sight for the hundreds lining the parade route here in the Electric City.
The pandemic canceled the parade twice here in Scranton, this past March and March of 2020 as well.
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But organizers felt it was safe enough to go for it.
“A lot of support from a lot of groups around the town, and they said, it's time, it's time to March, and we decided we're going to give '21 a shot,” said Gene Cosgrove, a member of the St. Patrick’s Parade committee.
The parade stepped off on Wyoming Avenue before making its way to Courthouse Square.
Annette McDonough was thrilled to see the parade marching through the downtown.
“I think that the kids and I think the community really needed this. I think it's a great thing that everyone got out, and it's a lovely day,” said McDonough.
Johnny Birtel of Scranton said after living through the pandemic, this was just what the doctor ordered.
“It's such a beautiful day, you know? And everybody just needed to get out a little bit, safely,” said Birtel.
A group of University of Scranton students were having a blast, taking in their first Scranton Parade Day.
“Great atmosphere. I've been having fun since 8 am this morning when I woke up and got ready, getting ready for the parade. It's a good time, had fun,” said freshman John Olausen.
Of course, businesses on Courthouse Square welcomed the crowds with open arms.
"Any little thing can help just to get people to congregate, get back to normal, just a little bit, and we feel this is a step in the right direction,” said William Nasser, part-owner of Backyard Ale House.
The parade committee says the parade consists of 12,000 participants.
The first Scranton Parade Day was held in 1962.