OCEAN CITY – Ocean City puts on the green at the 31sth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, which marches in Ocean City on Saturday, March 17.
Sponsored by the Delmarva Irish-American Club, this Ocean City tradition has grown to become Maryland’s second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the weekend has become a seasonal kick-off for many local businesses.
Ocean City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade includes pipe and drum bands, including the Chesapeake Caladonia Pipe and Drum Band and the Ocean City Pipe Band, several area high school marching bands led by the Stephen Decatur High School Marching Band and numerous festively decorated St. Patty’s Day floats.
Trophies will be awarded for best marching band, best commercial float, best non-commercial float, best motorized unit, best adult marching unit, best youth marching unit, special committee award and best overall entry in the parade.
The grand marshals of this year’s parade are Harry and Kathy James. The couple is dedicated to Project Children, a group that for 37 years has been bringing children from Northern Ireland to spend four to six weeks with families here in the United States. Harry and Kathy have been a host family for 19 children over the last 15 years.
The procession begins at noon at 61st Street and marches south on Coastal Highway to the 45th Street Shopping Center, where the reviewing and judges stand will be located.
The 45th Street Shopping Center will be once again be transformed into a lively Irish Festival complete with live Irish entertainment, dancers, face painting, Irish apparel and plenty of food and drink. Music will be provided by “Off the Boat Band” featuring James Gallagher. The free-admission festival begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.
The Delmarva Irish-American Club was founded in 1980. The first membership drive resulted in 75 members; today the membership totals more than 300 and is open to anyone who is Irish, or Irish descent or just likes things Irish. The club has awarded over $250,000 for scholarships to local students from the proceeds of previous parades.
For more information, visit www.delmarvairish.org or call Buck Mann at 410-289-6156.