A sea of Kelly green covered the Paper City as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade drew in thousands of spectators.
It’s a Western Massachusetts tradition.
“Love it. Every year, it’s my favorite month,” Nicole Blanchard of Chicopee said.
Families set up along the parade route to take in all the spectacles.
“It’s time for family, it’s time for fun. We’ve got grandma here, we’ve got cousins, friends,” Blanchard told us.
From first-time marchers to those with a few parades under their belt, the event serves as a heartfelt expression of pride and community.
First-time marcher, Grace Garrant, told Western Mass News she was glad to take part.
“I’m really excited because this was my first time and I am so excited. I really, really, really love to see my friends,” Garrant said. “And I will be waving to everybody.”
Maurice Ferriter, a marshal in the parade of 1993, told us, “It brings home all of the people of not only Irish ancestry but people from Holyoke who have moved out of town and they all come back from what is the Irish homecoming.”
The cold weather isn’t keeping people from coming out.
People are bundled up blankets, sweaters, jackets; the whole nine yards.
“We get all kinds of weather. Today, we got some cold,” Parade marshal, Bernie Lavelle told us.
However, we do have a leg up on Dublin, where it is 34 degrees and they are dealing with snow from yesterday.
From floats glitzed and glammed with Irish pride to the beat of the drums, there is something for everyone at the Holyoke St. Patrick’s day parade.