HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Bagpipers provided many stirring moments for onlookers as well as fellow marchers.
The Colleens from many western Massachusetts communities shared a longstanding tradition that goes back to the Emerald Isle.
It’s said that no one attends only one St. Patrick’s parade, because it becomes a lifelong commitment.
That is the case for Audrey Schubach of Holyoke. Audrey told 22News her love of this parade began when she was a child, and she’s attended every parade in its proud 66 year history. She said, “I feel it’s about the people and the friends. I’m not Irish, so it’s not that, it’s just a good time.”
A good time shared by the thousands along the parade route that extended nearly two and a half miles from the K-Mart shopping plaza along Northampton Street, turning onto Beech Street and finding its way past Holyoke City Hall and the reviewing stand.
Since Joshua Shelton moved to Chicopee ten years ago, he hasn’t missed a single Holyoke St. Patrick’s parade. Shelton told 22News, “It’s a celebration of everything coming together. It’s a good parade for Holyoke.”
Yazmilie Gomez of Chicopee added, “I guess it’s just the tradition, the area you know, St. Patrick’s Day. So we come over and just watch the parade and have fun.”
The floats are a constant reminder that Holyoke presents a world class parade that brings together families who’ve moved away, only to be re-united for the St. Patrick’s weekend and parade.
The 66th annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s parade provided, along with the entertainment, Irish pride and a feeling that comes with a community coming together in celebration. The entire 22News team was proud to have marched and been part of this tradition.