La Salle got into the Irish spirit Saturday with the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Despite cold temperatures, hundreds of people lined downtown First Street to see police and fire department vehicles and numerous businesses parade down the street. Children were able to collect enough thrown candy to make a Leprechaun jealous.
Third Ward Alderman John Duncan celebrated his Irish roots with a fake green beard, but authentic blackthorn staff that he waived at the crowds from the back of his parade convertible.
“I thought it went great,” Duncan said of the parade.
Jenny Hoehen, owner of Kristine’s Shower, was among the first-time participants in the parade. After years of focusing on nationwide sales, Hoehen said she’s trying to get more attention at home.
“Now we’re embracing our local roots,” she said, noting that her parade crew was tossing bathbombs rather than candy.
Since taking office, Mayor Jeff Grove has been an adamant support of festivities such as the seasonal parades and activities designed to provide community residents low-cost entertainment options while also drawing people to the downtown business district.
“I think we’re getting there,” he said of those efforts. “Obviously, we want to keep growing.”
This year the La Salle Promotional Advisory Committee, which oversees the city’s holiday events, selected award winners for best parade entrant and best window display.
La Salle Speedway won the entrant prize and Dr. Wendy Sanders’ optometry office won the window display prize. Sanders’s trophy is a traveling trophy that will move after each La Salle holiday event (St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July, Halloween and Christmas) to the most recent winner, Grove explained.
Matthew Baker can be reached at (815) 220-6933, or email@example.com.