SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s been more than 900 days since the celebration of Irish heritage took place on the streets of the Electric City, but that’s about to change as one of the largest parades dedicated to Irish culture steps off Saturday.
Just how was September 18 chosen for the annual St. Patrick’s parade in Scranton?
“September 17 is halfway to St. Patrick’s Day. Obviously, we can’t have a parade on a Friday, so the closest available day was Saturday, September 18 oh, I am thrilled! And it looks like it is going to be a great day,” said President of the St. Patrick’s Parade Albert P. O’Donnell.
As is tradition here in Scranton, parade day begins with a mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral in honor of St. Patrick, followed by Brian P. Kelly’s Family Fun Run.
Organizers tell us some high school bands were unable to commit to this Saturday’s date due to football, but their absence has been erased with other pipe bands who could never come to the Scranton parade in the month of March, they are now excited to appear in this year’s parade.
“All our banners are up, and hopefully, this week Gene Reed (Scranton DPW) will be painting the green line in the city of Scranton. And we’re looking for a great family day in the Electric City on Saturday. We have a lot of people coming into town, and we’re generating an economic start for the city of Scranton,” said O’Donnell.
For those who may be leery about coming downtown, O’Donnell has some advice.
“Wear a mask. Wear a mask. All the parade committee members will be wearing masks. We will have stations set up all along the parade route. There are bathrooms to wash your hands and things like that,” said O’Donnell.
Organizers say the parade is great for the downtown.
“We do it for the businesses downtown and the sponsors of the parade. This is a great day for them. And especially with what has gone on in the last 18 months, everybody needs a little kick start. And we hope to kick start the economy of Scranton, Pennsylvania, by having this wonderful parade on Saturday,” said O’Donnell.
If you can’t make it to downtown Scranton on Saturday, you can watch coverage of the annual St. Patrick’s parade on Saturday beginning at noon on WYOU.
Eyewitness News will bring you all the sights, sounds, and greenery, of one of the largest St. Patrick’s parades in the country.