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Painting Douglas green for St. Paddy's

By Celina Ip

Douglas was painted green with the luck of the Irish Saturday night at the seventh annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.


While the Irish and non-Irish alike will officially celebrate St. Patrick’s Day next weekend, thousands of people took to the streets of Douglas one week early for the annual parade.

The annual parade serves to honour Douglas’ predominantly Irish population, while inviting anyone and everyone to take part in the festivities and enjoy an evening of good ol’ Irish fun.

Hosted once again by the Douglas Lions Club, the parade attracted scores of people from across the region to either take part in, or watch the spectacle.

Welcoming nearly 60 floats, hundreds of costumed participants and thousands of spectators, the parade stayed true to tradition as the Village of Douglas was painted green during the unforgettable evening.

Floats – decorated with rainbows, pots of gold, clovers, leprechauns and scores of Irish flags – rode on by as the procession was accompanied by traditional and modern Irish music.

Joining the floats were antique cars, large and miniature horses along with walking troops of parade participants who were clad in all kinds of green attire.

“My wife and I have been involved with the Douglas St. Paddy’s Parade for the last seven and we just love it so much. We love getting dressed up, bringing out our miniature horses and saying hi to people we haven’t seen in a few months,” said Kenny Kiell. “We're at every parade they have for Douglas and we also take part in the Renfrew, Cobden and Eganville Santa Claus parades. We just love the community feel to the parades.”

As the thousands of spectators hollered and cheered from the sidelines, members of the parade waved to them and handed out lucky treats from their pots of gold.

Preston Cull, one of a quartet on the parade committee which makes the magic happen, expressed that the annual parade serves as a family affair and a homecoming for many during the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.

“We get people from all across the region and all over Ontario who come home to be with their family and to take part in this tradition every year,” said Cull. “We even have one lady from B.C. here tonight.”

Cull said that the night was another grand success that beautifully celebrated the Irish spirit.

“Everything is going great, people are happy and we couldn’t be more pleased by the turnout,” said Cull. 

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