St. Patrick’s parade, pub tour on Saturday

It’s going to be a Saturday of Irish-themed celebrations, featuring an hourlong parade down the heart of the city and a pub tour starting at 5 p.m. and continuing all night.

The sixth annual St. Patrick’s parade gets started at 2 p.m. and goes east on West Fourth Street from Campbell to Market streets, said Brenda Everett, a spokeswoman for iHeart Media, which picked up its sponsorship after the city Recreation Department bowed out due to limited funds.

“It will march east to Court and Market streets through the heart of downtown Williamsport,” she said.

While last year’s parade featured six divisions and more than 70 entries, the parade this year won’t have separate divisions, Everett said. Instead, the parade participants will be in one long, celebratory lineup.

“This year will be even bigger,” she promised.

The lineup features floats, marching units and bagpipers. As always, the shiniest fire trucks from area fire companies and departments will participate.

The parade also features the Nittany Highland Pipe Band, of State College.

The parade grand marshal is Nicholas Franczak, who was the soloist bagpiper in the first St. Patrick’s parade here, Everett said.

Look for a variety of Irish groups, including the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Notre Dame Club and other civic groups whose members will dress in traditional Irish garb, she said.

Once again, the parade judges will be searching for the “Most Spirited” parade entry and will award the winner a $1,000 Community Challenge prize, which is a $1,000 donation to the charity of the winning group’s choice, Everett said.

City Police Capt. Jody Miller said Maynard to Campbell streets will be shut off to get the parade participants in order at Trinity Place.

West Fourth Street, between Market and Maynard streets, will be closed to traffic at 1:30 p.m. All of the streets intersecting West Fourth Street between Campbell and Market streets will be closed to traffic during the parade.

The annual pub tour starts at 5 p.m. with River Valley Transit’s Peter Herdic Trolley providing rides to about 20 participating restaurants and pubs, Everett said.

Asked if there were any suggestions for spectators, Everett said to arrive early, dress warmly, bring chairs if desired and have fun celebrating the Irish heritage of the city and Lycoming County.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: St. Patrick’s parade

WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: West Fourth Street, from Campbell Street east to Court and Market streets

WHAT: St. Patrick’s pub tour

WHEN: 5 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Trolley service pickups at participating pubs and restaurants in the city