Small, energetic crowd for St. Patrick’s Day parade
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent March 17, 2014 10:32PM
The Lake Count Pipes and Drums perform in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Crown Point on March 17, 2014. | Jim Karczewski\Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 19, 2014 6:32AM
CROWN POINT — People and parade floats decorated in green lights descended on the city’s historic downtown square to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day during the annual nighttime parade.
Chilly temperatures and the first time the holiday fell on a weekday in three years resulted in decidedly smaller crowd, but an enthusiastic crowd packed the square for the event that has become a regional favorite.
The Pryde clan of Crown Point was dressed in green and ready to celebrate. Rob and Dustie Pryde and their daughters Lexi, 8, and Jami, 12, come every year, regardless of the weather.
“Last year we were in T-shirts, now we have the polar vortex,” Rob Pryde said.
The family was ready for the weather, bundled up in heavy coats and gloves. The women all wore bright green feather boas. Like St. Pat’s Day itself, the parade has become a tradition for them.
“We love green, and it’s the earliest parade,” he said.
Dustie said the parade is the highlight of the lull between the holidays and spring and is something the girls wait for with anticipation.
“There’s not a lot to look forward to in the winter,” she said.
Lexi and Jami were looking forward to the dancing horses from Mi Ranchito Restaurant in Lowell and the bagpipes of the Lake County Pipes and Drums.
“It’s really fun. You get to watch the horses and people come by,” Lexi said. “It’s epic.”
Adam and Jeanette Machara, of Valparaiso and Erika Sopko, of Hebron, Jeanette’s sister, also are parade regulars.
“We usual come out here. You can’t miss it. Good times. Good food. Good people,” Adam Machara said.
The trio said they like how close the parade is to home, preferring that to having to venture to Chicago to celebrate the holiday. They also like the time of the event.
“The big thing, it’s pretty cool, it’s a nighttime parade. There’s not a lot of those,” said Machara, who’s half Irish and was dressed in an Irish kilt for the festivities.
Like many in the crowd, Irish or not, he laid claim to his Irish descent.
“Today, I’m full Irish,” he said.