Yorkers brave cold for St. Patrick's Day parade

Christopher Dornblaser
Declan Lauber, 5, of Manchester Township, shows off his face paint as he watches an Irish dance performance at Central Market before the 34th Annual York Saint Patrick's Day Parade, Saturday, March, 11, 2017. Amanda J. Cain photo
  • Many Yorkers braved the cold Saturday to watch the St. Patrick's Day parade in York City.
  • About 90 groups participated in the parade.

With temperatures below freezing Saturday, the York St. Patrick's Day Parade was noticeably colder than the year before.

Despite that, many Yorkers showed up in their green attire to celebrate the parade, now in its 34th year.

"People look forward to this, and they plan this," Mary Yeaple, a volunteer organizer for the event, said Saturday before the parade.

The parade: Yeaple said about 90 groups participated in the parade this year. She said some had to drop from the parade because of the low temperatures. Some events from the day were moved inside as well, she said.

Yeaple said the event typically averages about 10,000 people in attendance.

"Today we do expect the crowd to be a bit lighter," she said Saturday.

Yeaple said people could watch the parade on White Rose TV if unable to attend the event. She said she'd be happier if it were a little warmer during the parade but added she was happy there was no rain or snow.

St. Paddy's parade draws big crowd

The parade started at the corner of West Market and Penn streets and continued to the intersection of East Market and South Duke streets.

Bonnie Noll, of Springettsbury Township, talks to a friend before the 34th Annual York Saint Patrick's Day Parade, Saturday, March, 11, 2017. Amanda J. Cain photo

St. Patrick's Day: Many groups made their way along the parade route, including the York Revolution, York High Alumni Band, the York County Federation of Democratic Women and local media outlets.

Walking along the parade route before it started were Greg and Bonnie Noll, of Springettsbury Township. Their orange wig and green leprechaun hats made the pair stand out from the crowd.

"It's always fun," Greg Noll said of the parade.

The two usually come, and Greg Noll said he has participated in the parade before. The couple said the cold wasn't deterring them.

"We dressed in layers," Bonnie Noll said.

Greg Noll said the parade has "never disappointed."

While watching the parade, he was happy with it.

"So far, so good," he said.

Down at the end of the parade route stood Katie Close, of Manchester. She was there just before the parade started, waiting to watch her 14-year-old son, Cullen, participate in the parade. Cullen was marching as part of Venture Crew 94, out of Dover.

"Oh, it's awesome," Close said about her son being in the parade.

She said the group didn't think twice about marching in the cold.

"They're Boy Scouts; they're prepared," Close said.

While Greg Noll said he is only a quarter Irish, Bonnie Noll and Close said they aren't Irish. However, both Close and Greg Noll shared the same thoughts.

"Everybody's Irish for St. Paddy's Day," they said.

Parade winners: The following parade participants received awards during Saturday's festivities:

  • Best Decorated Vehicle (commercial): Martin's Potato Chips
  • Best Decorated Vehicle (non-commercial): Goodwill Fire Co. of York Township
  • Best Individual/ Family group: Ned Rentzel
  • Best Float: Youth Development Center
  • Best Nonprofit Organization: May Day Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm
  • Best Honor Guard: York County Sheriff's Honor Guard
  • Best Media Entry (non-float): CBS 21
  • Best Irish Dance Group: McGinley School of Irish Dance
  • Grand Prize — Best of Parade Winner: York Fish & Oyster Co.

Next year's parade will be on the holiday, March 17, 2018.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.