SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Preparations for Scranton’s Saint Patrick’s parade are underway in the Electric City.
It’s been a long time coming since the parade was canceled in 2020 and postponed earlier this year due to covid concerns.
But the time has finally come and the city is gearing up for Scranton’s 2021 St. Patrick’s Parade.
“A group of men were in Savannah, Georgia and saw a St. Patrick’s day parade and said, ‘we want to bring this back to Scranton,'” said Albert P. O’Donnell who is the president of the St. Patricks Parade in Scranton.
Upon returning back they did just that creating Scranton’s first St. Patrick’s parade in 1962.
“I would have been 12 years old… probably,” said Joan Hodowanitz when asked if she remembers the first parade.
Whether you’re a long-time Scranton resident like Hodowanitz or a parade newcomer like Maya Glander the decades-old tradition is something the entire community gets excited about.
“I just moved here actually… I’m really excited. I’ve heard that it’s a lot of fun, a lot of people coming together. It’s really lively. Plenty of music. Plenty of fun. Just people getting together. I think people have missed that due to the pandemic,” said Glander.
“Last year was a bummer. We didn’t have anything. At least, we had the Italian festival this year and now we’re going to have the parade. I’m hoping that from here on out, it’s going to be normal life in Scranton,” said Hodowanitz.
Life just wouldn’t be normal in Scranton without the parade. Another plus, officials expect the local economy to get a major boost thanks to thousands of people storming the city in green.
“It’s a great day for the businesses in Scranton and Lackawanna County. It’s been a long 18 months with covid, so we’re hoping to jump-start the economy. All of these businesses who have had some tough times, hopefully, they will have a great day at the cash register tomorrow,” said O’Donnell.
For those familiar with the traditional parade route, there’s one slight change this year. Instead of making a left near the Radisson hotel, participants will turn left one block sooner on Adams Avenue.
Being that the parade is in September this year, there’s no telling how many people will show up. But, officials are recommending that if you’re unvaccinated, wear a mask.
If you can’t make it out to the parade, Eyewitness News will have special live coverage on WYOU starting at noon and will be live streaming the parade on our website.