St. Patrick's Parade Brings Thousands to Ocean City - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

St. Patrick's Parade Brings Thousands to Ocean City

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - It was a wave of green in Ocean City Saturday afternoon. Thousands flocked to the beach city to watch floats pass by for the 33rd annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade. With 70 degree weather, businesses were happy to see a successful beginning to the unofficial start of the summer season.

At the parade's ending on 45th street, Maddie Sturdel from Annapolis was decked out in green. She painted the picture of what it looked like in Ocean City.

"Green," she said. "A lot of green.

And she wasn't wrong. In every direction, green clothing filled the street. There were green beads, green hats, green glasses, and even green beer bottles.

"The parade is great," Sturdel said. "And there's a lot of floats and Irish dancers."

And with thousands of visitors coming down for the parade, it also meant businesses were raking in the green. At the Satellite Coffee Shop, the owners said this was great news.

"We get to come out here and pour drinks all day," one owner said. "And pour a few for ourselves. And everybody is smiling. Everyone is Irish today."

Bob Wooley came down from Kent Island with his wife. He said they've been coming for more than a decade. He said the parade has continued to grow every year.

"This is just fantastic for the businesses..." he said. "This is the first weekend being open. Over with the winter. And it gets only better from this."

To accommodate for the parade, Coastal Highway was reduced to one lane of traffic on Southbound lanes between 45th Street and 60th. This lead to major congestion in the area as well as on Route 90, entering the city.

Dozens of police officers, such as Sgt. Glen McIntyre were at every block within that stretch on Saturday, keeping cars moving down the road.

"It takes a number of people and a lot of man-hours," he said. "But it's worth it. It's one of the fan favorites as far as events go in Ocean City. So whatever we've got to do to help kick it off and get it going so people can have a good time."

Later in the night, the police will be on patrol for drunk driving, a problem that's always prevalent after the Saint Patrick's Day parade. But for Saturday afternoon, McIntyre said it was all about the celebration of the start of the Summer Season.
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