All Star Roofing Summer 2023

Get your Irish on at St. Pat’s parade


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, pictured in a 2022 file photo, will be held in Greenville on Saturday. File photo

GREENVILLE — St. Patrick’s Day may have been last Friday, but there’s still time to get your Irish on at Saturday’s parade in Greenville.

All things Emerald Isle will be celebrated this weekend as the community is expected to turn out in force for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, hosted by the Greenville Irish American Club.

The parade will be held on March 25, beginning at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, proceeding down Route 81, turning the corner at the intersection of Routes 81 and 32, and concluding on the steps of the Greenville Public library.

“We will start at 1 p.m. at the church,” parade chairwoman Betty Hayden said. “Marchers will line up there beginning at 12:30 p.m. and step-off is at 1 p.m.”

The parade route used to be longer, but a couple of years ago the Irish American Club decided to shorten the route to accommodate some of the parade’s aging marchers, she said.

Dozens of groups are registered to march — 37 of them including the fire companies, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, law enforcement, high school marching bands from Greenville and Cairo-Durham, and more — and additional groups may participate as well.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a long-standing tradition in Greenville, this year marking its 49th year.

The parade got off to a humble start.

“Some Irish farmer sold a cow and that was the money to start the first parade,” Hayden said. “Whatever money they had they used to start the club and the parade.”

Local resident Anne Lafferty is the only club member from the original founding group to still be with the club that started five decades ago.

Hayden has been working on the parade for 23 years and said she hopes it can continue even though the event’s organizers are getting on in years.

“We are keeping the Irish traditions alive,” she said. “It’s things like a parade or a concert or step dancer performances that keep the traditions alive.”

Turnout for the parade is typically high, but it all depends on the weather, she added.

“If the weather is nice, we get the crowds,” Hayden said. “It’s something that I don’t think many other towns are doing and we are trying to keep ours going, even if we can just go until next year to celebrate our 50th.”

This year’s parade grand marshal will be Neil Wallace, a member of the Greenville Irish American Club.

“We always pick someone who participates and helps the club in various ways — someone we can depend on, someone who attends all the meetings and helps out and who we can depend on to run things,” Hayden said.

After the parade’s conclusion outside the library, everyone will head a couple of doors down to Scott M. Ellis Elementary School on Route 32 for a party and plenty of refreshments, all provided by the Greenville Irish American Club.

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