Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blue Skies, Golden Sun below, in St. Patrick's Parade, the Green Never Looked Better

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blue Skies, Golden Sun below, in St. Patrick's Parade, the Green Never Looked Better

Article excerpt

Everything seemed green or greener at a shirtsleeves-and-shorts St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown, as thousands of onlookers reveled in unseasonably warm, springlike weather Saturday.

"I don't know of a better day for the St. Patrick's Day Parade than today, and I've marched in all 26 of them," said Deputy Police Chief James J. Hackett, readying the 75 officers in the St. Louis' Marching Finest unit, who looked overdressed in their winter blues.

On the curb along South Broadway at Walnut Street, three generations of the self-styled Clan O'Toole sat comfortably in green shirts and enjoyed the passing stream of clowns, Clydesdales, Celtic floats and high school marching bands.

Jim Malinee of St. Charles confessed the parade was a first for him and his wife. He indicated that his grandmother, Catherine O'Toole, who was born of Irish immigrants in the old Kerry Patch neighborhood in 1860, would not be proud of that.

The Malinees' daughter, Mary Kay Horan of Oakville, said she had been a parade regular since high school. She and her husband, Rob Horan, invite her parents every year, she said, "but Dad usually begs off because of the bad weather."

No way, this year.

The temperature was a balmy 65 degrees when the parade kicked off at noon. Shortly after the parade ended about 2 p.m., the mercury jumped to the day's high of 71.

Along Market Street, the crowd was packed eight to 10 deep from either curb all the way to the terminus west of 20th Street.

Children had the best seats. Some were right at curbside, while others watched from their parents' shoulders or the tops of bus shelters.

Many people unable to see the parade spread out blankets and picnic fare in pocket parks along the route and had their own parties.

Bill Hohmeier and his two dozen relatives and friends chose? a grassy expanse of Aloe Plaza opposite Union Station.

"We got here at 11:30, and this is the best seat we could get," he said, while trying to keep an eye on the toddlers in his group. …

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