St. Patrick’s Day weekend kicked off Saturday in downtown La Salle with the city’s fifth annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Organized by the La Salle Promotional and Advisory Committee, around 30 entries made up the parade, with adults and children joining in to march.
“We’ve come here every year,” said Bryan Grebner of Peru, who brought his daughters, Kya, 7, and Gia, 5, to watch and collect candy. “Peru doesn’t have a St. Patrick’s Day parade.”
“This is my favorite parade,” Kya said, swinging her candy bag and sporting a shamrock headband, while her sister wore a shamrock tiara.
Initially, they had planned to just watch the parade, but decided to march along when they found out they could.
The La Salle-Peru Township High School Marching Cavaliers stepped off on Second Street precisely at 1 p.m., followed by city officials, businesses and organizations under a partly cloudy sky with a mild breeze and temperatures nearing 40 degrees.
Alderman Jerry Reynolds called the weather “fair,” but said, “It’s been worse.”
Ashia Kolodziej, owner of Curves in La Salle, concurred with Reynolds’ view of the weather.
“It’s a little chilly, but it could be worse,” she said, adding that this was her third year as an entry in the parade.
Jackie Meredith of La Salle enjoyed watching her first parade in La Salle as she stood on Second Street with her energetic 1½-year-old Great Dane, Marley Blue, who was very excited about seeing other dogs in the street.
“I love parades,” Meredith said, watching her daughters, 10-year-old Olivia Lamis and 6-year-old Meredith Lamis, clean the nearest street corner of candy with their friend, 10-year-old Summer Chism.
“I think the weather slowed us down after the last snowstorm,” said parade coordinator Dan Burke, who organized the entries. “But it’s a fun day, and a great day to be Irish.”