Paint­ing Dou­glas green in lead up to St. Paddy’s Day

The Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CÉLINA IP

DOU­GLAS – Dou­glas was painted green with the luck of the Ir­ish Satur­day night at the sev­enth an­nual St. Pa­trick’s Day Pa­rade.

While the Ir­ish and non-Ir­ish alike will of­fi­cially cel­e­brate St. Pa­trick’s Day this week­end, thou­sands of peo­ple took to the streets of Dou­glas one week early for the an­nual pa­rade.

The an­nual pa­rade serves to hon­our Dou­glas’s pre­dom­i­nantly Ir­ish pop­u­la­tion, while invit­ing any­one and ev­ery­one to take part in the fes­tiv­i­ties and en­joy an evening of good ol’ Ir­ish fun.

Hosted once again by the Dou­glas Lions Club, the pa­rade at­tracted scores of peo­ple from across the re­gion to ei­ther take part in, or watch the spec­ta­cle.

Wel­com­ing nearly 60 floats, hun­dreds of cos­tumed par­tic­i­pants and thou­sands of spec­ta­tors, the pa­rade stayed true to tra­di­tion as the Village of Dou­glas was painted green dur­ing the un­for­get­table evening.

Floats – dec­o­rated with rain­bows, pots of gold, clovers, lep­rechauns and scores of Ir­ish flags – rode on by as the pro­ces­sion was ac­com­pa­nied by tra­di­tional and mod­ern Ir­ish music.

Join­ing the floats were an­tique cars, large and minia­ture horses along with walk­ing troops of pa­rade par­tic­i­pants who were clad in all kinds of green at­tire.

“My wife and I have been in­volved with the Dou­glas St. Paddy’s Pa­rade for the last seven and we just love it so much. We love get­ting dressed up, bring­ing out our minia­ture horses and say­ing hi to peo­ple we haven’t seen in a few months,” said Kenny Keill. “We’re at ev­ery pa­rade they have for Dou­glas and we also take part in the Ren­frew, Cob­den and Eganville Santa Claus pa­rades. We just love the com­mu­nity feel to the pa­rades.”

As the thou­sands of spec­ta­tors hollered and cheered from the side­lines, par­tic­i­pants in the pa­rade waved to them and handed out lucky treats from their pots of gold.

Pre­ston Cull, one of a quar­tet on the pa­rade com­mit­tee mem­bers who make the magic hap­pen, ex­pressed that the an­nual pa­rade serves as a fam­ily af­fair and a home­com­ing for many dur­ing the week lead­ing up to St. Pa­trick’s Day.

“We get peo­ple from all across the re­gion and all over On­tario who come home to be with their fam­ily and to take part in this tra­di­tion ev­ery year,” he said. “We even have one lady from B.C. here tonight.”

Cull said that the night was an­other grand suc­cess that beau­ti­fully cel­e­brated the Ir­ish spirit.

“Every­thing is go­ing great, peo­ple are happy and we couldn’t be more pleased by the turnout,” said Cull.

The pa­rade kicked off a week of Home­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Dou­glas lead­ing up to the main event on Satur­day, March 17 when peo­ple flock from all around for the day­long party at the Dou­glas Tav­ern. Other events in­clude Ir­ish Stew Tues­day night at St. Michael’s Catholic School, Ir­ish Trivia Wed­nes­day night at the tav­ern, eu­chre Thurs­day night and a pub night on Fri­day. cip@post­


Dressed up in green from head to toe, Kenny and Kim Keill were more than happy to bring out their minia­ture horses and show off their Ir­ish spirit at the Dou­glas St. Pa­trick's Day Pa­rade.


Decked out in gi­ant clovers, O'Brien Farms brought the luck of the Ir­ish to the St. Pa­trick's Day Pa­rade.


A number of horses joined the pro­ces­sion at this year's Dou­glas St. Pa­trick's Day Pa­rade.


Rain­bows, sham­rocks, lep­rechauns and a whole lot of green adorned the floats at the Dou­glas St. Pa­trick's Day Pa­rade Satur­day night.


Among this year's floats was an de­pic­tion of an old-fash­ioned dis­play from Brom­ley Farm Sup­ply. Float par­tic­i­pants (from left) Sea­mus McHale, Pa­trick En­right, El­iz­a­beth Mon­roe, Ben Huck­abone and Rachel Huck­abone.


Ry­der Philips, of MacNa­mara's Band, gives a dou­ble thumbs up from the back of the float dur­ing the St. Pa­trick's Day Pa­rade.


The Jarvis fam­ily (from left are Nick, Lyn­d­sey and Blair) brought along their horse Marla to the Dou­glas St. Pa­trick's Day Pa­rade.


Maddy Tur­cotte and Will Clarke, of MacNa­mara's Band, show off their funky gui­tars as they float on by dur­ing the pa­rade.

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