SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The countdown is on to one of the biggest events in the region, the annual Scranton Saint Patrick’s Parade.
It’s just two weeks away but before the big event comes the preparation. Eyewitness News Reporter Morgan Parrish headed out to “Raise a Pint for Parade Day” to see how committee members are raising money.
“You’re only a president once so and part of your duties you have to tap the firkin Friday keg and I watched some other people tap and I was a little nervous. I wanted to make sure I did it the right way but I think I did a pretty good job and that’s one of your many responsibilities as President of the Parade Association,” said St. Patrick’s Parade Association President, Al O’Donnell.
The time has come! It’s officially the kickoff to parade season in Lackawanna County.
“We’re out here to support the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. My father’s a member. I think he’s the oldest member on the committee,” said Karen Snyder of Scranton.
A tradition that has lasted for decades.
“Realistically, it’s a year-round job lining up the bagpipe bands and lining up the sponsors of the parade and also the different acts. Then we have to set up the parade and route and everything in place, the logistics, getting the bands into town,” said O’Donnell.
These bagpipers don’t play for free. It’s why the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade Committee is fundraising for the big day during ‘Firkin Friday’.
“There’s a lot more than you think so trying to bring some money to help them pay for that and it’s great for the community. St. Patrick’s Day is huge. It brings in so many people to the area,” said Ryan Cooper, General Manager of Cooper’s Seafood House.
Drinking, laughing, and the fun doesn’t stop there.
“Oh it’s electric. These guys are having a ball. They’re definitely here to enjoy themselves,” said Cooper.
A raffle was held where one lucky winner won an all-expense paid trip for two to Ireland.
“I have the winning ticket so there’s no need for anyone else to be here,” said Snyder.
“What a fitting trip for the Irish association here in Scranton,’ said O’Donnell.
All money raised from drinks from the Firkin will go toward the St. Patrick’s Parade committee for the big parade day.
The winner of the trip for two to Ireland is Molly Gilhooley who will also get to see Notre Dame and Navy play in the college football classic in Dublin.
As for the 59th annual Scranton St. Patrick’s parade, if you can’t see it in person, you can watch it on WYOU Saturday, March 14th starting at noon.