DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The countdown is on to the annual Scranton St. Patricks Parade.

But before the parade happens, roughly 200 people gathered Sunday night for the annual parade VIP dinner to acknowledge parade sponsors and dignitaries.

A year of planning has culminated in this, Parade Week in Lackawanna County.

The Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade is a big deal. It’s the 61st annual one.

This night has featured a lot of sentiment and laughter and just good feelings as those who planned so hard for the spectacle that’s been the parade for so many years now prepares to step off with yet another.

On a special night, those who have been named Honorary Marshals and Grand Marshals and Parade Marshals, you name it, they’ve been here, they’ve been acknowledged with the great honor that’s been bestowed upon them.

To give some perspective to what this whole week means we spoke with Parade Historian Gary Duncan.

“You can look forward to seven divisions of excitement. We are going to be having approximately 11 bagpipe contingents. We’re going to be having approximately six high school bands. There’ll be plenty of music activity, plenty of performing acts. There’s a group coming in from Flint, Michigan. We have some bagpipers coming up from Washington, D.C. And of course, we have a contingent coming all the way from Ballina, Ireland. So to one and all, Beannachtai na Feile Padraig. Happy St. Patrick’s Day,” said Gary Duncan, a Historian with the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade Association.

This year’s Honorary Grand Marshal, “Irish” Gene Reed, will do something that he’s done for the past 25 years.

He’s going to paint that green stripe along the parade route, and then that sets the stage for parade day.

Remember, if you cannot make it to Downtown Scranton for Saturday’s parade, Eyewitness News have you covered.

Join Mark, Candice Kelly, and others from the Eyewitness News Team starting Saturday at 12:00 p.m. on WYOU.