All manner of things Irish were on display Saturday during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Seattle.
Call it the luck o’ the Irish.
The snow melted, the rain stayed away and hundreds of marchers and onlookers celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a rousing parade through downtown Seattle.
All manner of things Irish were on display Saturday along Fourth Avenue, from bagpipe and drum corps to Irish setters, Irish sweaters and the traditional green stripe painted the length of the parade route by organizers.
Seattle’s celebration isn’t as large as those in Chicago or New York City, but it dates back three decades and draws on a strong Northwest Irish-American community, said Mike McQuaid, spokesman for the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle, which sponsors the annual event.
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McQuaid noted that the crowd lining the sidewalk was smaller than for the Seafair Torchlight Parade but still respectable considering the sub-40 temperature and threatening weather that included snowflakes earlier in the day.
“It’s absolutely the luck of the Irish to have no snow,” said McQuaid, sporting a plaid tam-o’-shanter.
The grand marshal for the parade was Michael G. Reagan, Edmonds artist and creator of the “Fallen Heroes Project.” Reagan draws portraits of servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and gives the art to family members. To date, he has drawn 2,700 portraits.
Reagan’s grandfather was born in County Cork, Ireland, McQuaid said.
Reagan raised the American and Irish flags at the King County Administration Building at the start of the parade and led the march, along with local Irish-American politicians: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle.
The Opening Ceremony was accompanied by the American and Irish national anthems, played on trumpets by Bruce Cosacchie and his grandson, Conor Adams, who said the cold weather was not a problem.
“I have a fire burning in my heart,” said Adams.
Among the parade participants were two young leprechauns in fake whiskers carrying boxes of Lucky Charms cereal and avoiding capture by clowns carrying nets.
There were girls from the Tara Academy step-dancing in the street, and Irish water spaniels, with green bows, green sequins and curly green ribbons adorning their curly coats.
The Bishop Blanchet High School Marching Band played “Danny Boy.”
Along the sidewalk, Ellen Booth seemed representative of the onlookers who had dressed for the occasion. She wore green shamrock knee-high stockings, striped green leg warmers, a green plaid sweater dress, a green jacket and a stretchy rainbow cap that ended in a bright green pompon.
“I’m here for the whole thing,” she said. “I love the parade. I love the dancers. I love Irish culture.”
Lynn Thompson: 206-464-8305 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @lthompsontimes.