The lucky Irish

A horse with a curly green wig.

About the only place that makes sense is next to marching leprechauns – that and much more made a sea of sparkling green at the third annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Williamsport Saturday afternoon.

Children squealed with delight as horses, dogs, floats, mascots and others from more than 45 entrants passed by on Fourth Street, from Maynard to Market streets, starting at 2 p.m.

Parades are front-row events for children, leaping up and down, waving and grabbing flung candy, while adults watched, many with hot cocoa in hand on a blustery day. Four young tots piled in a red pull-along wagon, watched the parade wide-eyed.

“Candy!” some girls shouted as three people dressed up as a Kit Kat, Hersey bar and Reese’s waved from a pick-up truck bed. They seemed equally enthusiastic when they saw the Lycoming County Dairy Princess and a person in a cow costume drive by.

A man on stilts tottered by followed by an old-fashioned two-wheel bicycle. Kilted bagpipers marched, the music echoing down the road.

This was 6-year-old Robert Hill’s first St. Patrick’s parade. He said he enjoys floats better than live animals because he likes to see the people dressed up in costume. He goes to all sorts of parades, like the Mummers Parade – but said he’d rather watch one than be in one. He enjoys just about everything, even this long winter. While his grandparents Robert and Tammy Hill, of South Williamsport, have had enough of the winter, young Robert said he loves playing in the snow.

Florence Hills, of Williamsport, enjoyed her first St. Patrick’s Parade with her family. She has five children, 13 grandchildren and over 13 great-grandchildren. Some of the family gets together every other Thursday to play cards with Hills, a several-year-old tradition, and that’s where daughter Dianna Linn, also of Williamsport, asked her to go to the parade. This might be a new tradition for them.

Williamsport residents Elizabeth and David Myers have come with their two children Kaitlyn, 9, and Zachary, 6, and “Nanna” Bobbie McCloskey since the parade’s inception. But this year is special because it’s their 9-month-old Lily Grace’s first parade, wearing a sparkling clover headband. Kaitlyn and Zachary’s favorite was the Sweet Frog float because of the frog costume. Elizabeth remembers last year because she was pregnant with Lily, and it snowed.

Morgan Casselbury, 7, was at the parade with her sister Emily Casselbury, 9, and friends Jayda Johnson, 9, Lauren Foust, 8, Amber Trimble, 11, and some others, all from Picture Rocks and Hughesville. Morgan and Jayda hoped to see hot-air balloons, while Emily and Amber wanted to see brightly decorated floats and costumes. It was a good day for Jayda, as her favorite color is green.

Paige Lorson, 22, of Williamsport, helped to bring some clients of Hope Enterprises to the parade, who seemed to like the festivities, as banjo players rode by.

Katie Keller and Trent Davis brought their friend’s 7-month-old baby Trejon to his first parade. He grinned as the parade marched by.