Forget painting the town red. Residents from around the county painted downtown Williamsport green as people celebrated the first-ever St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday morning.
In addition to the hues of green, parade-goers received a taste of Irish music and dancing as the festivities made their way on West Fourth Street from Walnut Street to Court Street.
Nick Franczak, of Berwick, walked near the front of the parade, playing bagpipes, an instrument he has played since he was 9.
Nick Franczak, of Nescopeck, marches near the beginning of the 1st-ever city St. Patrick’s Day parade.
"Once you get the knack of it, you're all good," he said.
He described the bagpipe's music as moving, loud and easily recognizable, all of which intrigued him to want to take lessons. He now performs at weddings, funerals and in school.
"If you want bagpipes, I'll be there," he said.
Hearing the bagpipe music was something one group of parade-goers looked forward to most.
"The bagpipes are gonna be awesome," Tiffany Steppe, of South Williamsport, said.
The reason for the appeal is the Irish authenticity it brings. Steppe said she was not Irish, but for the day she would be.
With Steppe was Ryan Krauss, of South Williamsport, who displayed his Irish pride by wearing a kilt, and Jake Steppe, of South Williamsport, who wore a Green Lantern costume to match the day's color.
Having a parade to celebrate Irish heritage is a good idea because after German, Irish is a large part of the community's background, she said.
Melanie McKee, of Loyalsock Township, went beyond just wearing a green t-shirt by making her own costume Friday night.
She walked in the parade with the Greater Williamsport Notre Dame Club, who told her to wear either green or Notre Dame clothes.
"Oh, I thought you told me to dress like a dame," she said she would tell anyone who questioned her outfit.
As she walked along West Fourth Street, McKee performed a quick jig beneath her skirt.
"I am Irish, so I learned the Irish jig," she said.
Spectators and participants said the parade is a good thing to have for entertainment's sake.
"I love it," McKee said. "It's a great idea. Our area needs more fun."
One family arrived to claim a spot on West Fourth Street almost two hours before the parade began.
When Sally Cramm, of Loyalsock Township, first arrived, not many people lined the sidewalks, but as 11 a.m. drew nearer, the crowds grew. She displayed her heritage with green clothes and clovers painted on her face.
"What kind of Irish girl would I be without it?" she said.
A stand manned by volunteers for St. Joseph the Worker Parish sold hot dogs, sodas and other treats to waiting watchers.
Normally, they sell food at the Grand Slam Parade for Little League, but they decided to try the St. Patrick's Day parade, Barbara McNerney, of Williamsport, said.
"I'm surprised with the turnout," she said.
They scaled back on the food they made, thinking they would have to finish it themselves because there would not be enough customers.
Next year, they will have more Irish food to sell, McNerney said.