St. Patrick's Day Parade Scheduled Despite Rain in the Forecast - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

St. Patrick's Day Parade Scheduled Despite Rain in the Forecast

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(Courtesy: DelmarvaIrish.org) (Courtesy: DelmarvaIrish.org)
 OCEAN CITY, Md.- Businesses in Ocean City are gearing up for the kick-off of the season: the 34th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Despite the fact that rain is in the forecast for Saturday, businesses like Shenanigan's restaurant on 4th street are dusting off the cobwebs after a long winter season.

"We are throwing a big party this weekend. We're decorating the place up and getting ready for the crowds," said Nick Feickert, front of the house manager of Shenanigan's.

The parade is put on by the Delmarva Irish-American Club. Organizer Buck Mann says the parade is the second largest in the area and is gaining ground on Baltimore's, with float entries from around the region.

The parade is scheduled to go on rain or shine. Mann says it will be canceled in the event of extreme weather that could cause harm to spectators. If it were to be canceled, notification would go out Friday afternoon.

"The hotels are telling me they're booked up. If I were to cancel it, all of the bar owners and restaurant owners would probably shoot me," said Mann. "It's a very successful event. In the 34 years, we have only had to cancel it twice."

Business owners are relying on the luck of the Irish Saturday when it comes to the forecast, but say they're not worried about a little rain.

"With the parade obviously if you're standing outside it's going to be a bit of a damper out there, but that doesn't exactly hurt us that much because people will want to come in here where they can drink beer and hear some Irish music live and in person," said Feickert.

The business is welcomed by locals like Teri Constantino.

"The parade starts bringing people down to the shore and we need that," said Constantino. "I'm hoping that the rain is going to hold off at least until the parade is over. I'm seeing a lot of the shops open up and I'm hoping that we're going to do a lot of business here this year."

The procession begins at noon at 57th street and marches south on Coastal Highway to the 45th street Shopping Center. Bleachers and the judges' stand are set up in the parking lot. The shopping center will also feature live Irish entertainment, dancers, face painting, Irish apparel as well as food and drink from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to the festival is free.

Grand marshals Kathleen and Mike Higgins will lead the parade. It will feature pipe and drum bands, including the Chesapeake Caledonian Pipe Band and the Ocean City pipe and drum band. The Stephen Decatur High School Marching band will also return for this year's event.

To avoid traffic delays, parade viewers are urged to arrive before 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

For more information about the parade, visit the Delmarva Irish-American Club's website

To see video of last year's parade, click here.



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