Girardville marches on

Pa­rade post­poned un­til April 14

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - Front Page - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COPY EDI­TOR Con­tact the writer: dprosick@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570- 628- 6002

Gather ’ round, lads and lasses, with de­scen­dants of Gaels garbed in green, en­joy the new spring air with those from Eire and pa­tron­ize a lo­cal pub in the name of St. Pa­trick at a Celtic cul­tural cel­e­bra­tion in Girardville ... next month, in­stead of Satur­day, all thanks to Mother Na­ture.

The pa­rade, orig­i­nally sched­uled for Satur­day, has been post­poned un­til April 14, due to the re­cent snow, or­ga­niz­ers said.

The 15th an­nual Girardville St. Pa­trick’s Day Pa­rade will start promptly at noon April 14 in the bor­ough, ac­cord­ing to Joe Wayne, pres­i­dent of the Girardville St. Pa­trick’s Day Pa­rade Com­mit­tee and found­ing mem­ber of the cel­e­bra­tion. The fes­tiv­i­ties will be­gin with an Ir­ish Mass at 10 a. m. at St. Vin­cent Worship Cen­ter, Ma­hanoy Av­enue and Sec­ond Street, Wayne said.

This year’s theme is “Sa­lute to the Res­i­dents of Girardville,” ven­er­at­ing the towns peo­ple who pro­vide hos­pi­tal­ity to marchers and pa­rade­go­ers alike.

“All of our bands that come up here tell us the same thing: ‘ We never get treated and re­ceived as well any­where aswe do in Girardville,’ ” Wayne said. Res­i­dents “make ev­ery­body feel wel­come. Ev­ery one of ( the marchers) tell us af­ter­ward, they say ‘ You guys here in Girardville treat us bet­ter than at any pa­rade we ever go to.’ That goes to show the makeup of the cit­i­zens of the town.”

This year’s grand mar­shal will get to soak in some of the ap­pre­ci­a­tion that the peo­ple of Girardville will re­ceive.

“We try to tie the theme of the pa­rade in with the hon­oree,” Wayne said, and this year, that hon­oree will be for­mer U. S. rep­re­sen­ta­tive and cur­rent Penn­syl­va­nia Liquor Con­trol Board Chair­man Tim Holden.

“We try to look at some­one in promi­nence in the com­mu­nity, and that’s one rea­sonwe want to honor Tim Holden,” Wayne said. “He did a lot for Schuylkill County dur­ing his time in Congress.”

Other groups par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pa­rade will in­clude emer­gency ser­vices, such as fire com­pa­nies and EMTs, high- wheeled bi­cy­cles, Ra­jah Tem­ple Shriners’ cars and a float, bag­pipe bands and of course many di­vi­sions of An­cient Or­der of Hiber­ni­ans.

“We have a large con­tin­gence of AOH and Ladies AOH. We have regis­tra­tion from Pitts­burgh, Philadel­phia, Scran­ton, Jim Thorpe, Pottsville, Saint Clair, Cass Town­ship and ours. Sowe get a pretty good turnout,” Wayne said.

The route for pa­rade par­tic­i­pants will start on East Main Street, go down to West Main and onto Ju­lia Street. From there, it will turn right onto Og­den Street, right onto Sec­ond Street and left onto A Street, where marchers will dis­band around bor­ough hall, Wayne said.

Be­cause of the pa­rade route, traf­fic com­ing fromthe east will be di­verted onto Ma­hanoy Av­enue, Route 54, which will re­main open, start­ing at 9 a. m.

“On thewest­ern end of town, they’ll prob­a­bly close that about 11: 45, 15min­utes be­fore the pa­rade, be­cause there’ll be peo­ple com­ing in at the last­minute,” and there will be peo­ple out col­lect­ing dona­tions, Wayne said. “We ask ev­ery­body be as gen­er­ous as pos­si­ble. They want to en­joy the pa­rade, but it takes a lot of money to put this on, so ev­ery lit­tle bit helps.”

Af­ter the pa­rade, one big party cel­e­brat­ing the home coun­try of so many Coal Re­gion an­ces­tors will fol­low at the Hiber­nian House, Beech and Line streets, where awards will be given, and mu­sic and carous­ing will con­tinue.

Wayne wanted to thank the cit­i­zens of the bor­ough for their un­re­lent­ing sup­port that helped make the pa­rade such a suc­cess the last 15 years.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think we’d be get­ting the re­sponse thatwe do if it wasn’t for the­way the peo­ple of Girardville re­ceived ev­ery­body. We never thought it was go­ing to take off the way it did.”

“All of our bands that come up here tell us the same thing: ‘ We never get treated and re­ceived as well any­where as we do in Girardville.” Res­i­dents “make ev­ery­body feel wel­come. Ev­ery one of ( the marchers) tell us af­ter­ward, they say ‘ You guys here in Girardville treat us bet­ter than at any pa­rade we ever go to.’ That goes to show the makeup of the cit­i­zens of the town.” Joe Wayne, Girardville St. Pa­trick’s Day Pa­rade Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent

DAVID MCKE­OWN/ STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Drum ma­jor Linda Loder leads the Hawk Moun­tain High­landers dur­ing last year’s St. Pa­trick’s Day Pa­rade. This year’s pa­rade will be­gin at noon along East Main Street, Girardville.

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