Peterborough St. Patrick's Day Parade
by Festival Nomad Correspondent, Kevin Stuart
If Your Irish...
Although St. Patrick was not Irish by birth, he became inexorably linked with his adopted nation following a storied history of converting many that he came across. In the many centuries since, his name has also become associated with celebrating everything Irish in various countries including Canada. A fair number of cities also stage parades on or around March 17, marking the occasion. Peterborough and area boast a rich Irish heritage and each year have declared the week prior to March 17 Irish Heritage Week, kicking off with a parade down the main street on the Sunday before the St. Patrick’s Day. It all began with the flag raising ceremony at city hall and the singing of both the Irish and Canadian national anthems.
The 2012 edition of the Peterborough St. Patrick's Day Parade was especially comfortable for the thousands that lined George Street as the sun was shining and the temperature went into the teens. One of the best parts of this parade is seeing the many families that displaying their Irish pride with their own displays. In all about 10 clans were represented, with several successive generations participating. Some walked, some waved from upon the floats and the bright and colourful costumes were everywhere to be seen. Even a few animals got in on the act, sporting their finest shade of green. We also got two for the price of one with Jimmy Reedyk and his puppet Patty waving and greeting the crowds.
Of course many local groups participated in the festivities. Aside from the political figures, many area businesses and community groups gladly joined the festivities. These included some fine dance troops and bands because, what would an Irish celebration be without those Celtic sounds ringing out? Naturally, there was also an appearance by St. Patrick himself.
If there was any down side, the parade seemed a little short which meant we were left wanting more. Usually that’s the sign of a good thing. With the beautiful weather many people stuck around to walk around the area and check into some of the establishments that were celebrating the occasion as well. A tip o’ the hat to all the organizers and participants and "toora-loora" until the next Peterborough St. Patrick's Day Parade.