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Garrettsville Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

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80 year old Parma resident Jean Shea (aka the "Irish Queen" to her family) pauses to pose with Leppy ( Chuck Klamer) the leprechaun and his son ( Rick Patrick). Jean also enjoyed her first carriage ride as she celebrated her Irish heritage with her family in Garrettsville.

It was the luck of the Irish that delivered the beautiful weather for the Annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Garrettsville last Saturday. The 70 plus degree weather brought folks out in droves to celebrate the day in Garrettsville, a small town that really knows how to put the “Green” on. The streets were crowded early and a parking place became the so-called pot o’ gold as one hunted down that prized spot. The scent of corned beef wafted in the air as one crossed the Windham Street Bridge and headed toward Main Street. Restaurants and bars opened their patios for the first time this year; they were full of patrons enjoying a Rueben or corned beef n cabbage washed down by a green beer or two… or three, or whatever it took. The theme of the day became “Erin go Bragh,” as everyone claimed to be Irish even if it was just for the day.
Kids joined in the fun as well. Boys and girls patiently waited in line to have their faces painted with their favorite St. Patrick’s Day emblem, have their pictures taken with the look-alike Mickey and have a balloon animal or character made by Jason Adkins. While the green beer flowed for the adults, shamrock shakes and blizzards were on tap for the kids. It was a great day of fun for the young and not so young.
Sam Bixler brought out his horses and carriage, offering rides around town for a small donation. One could see many taking advantage of the carriage ride on such a gorgeous day. Bagpipes, Irish music, cloggers, and more kept folks entertained throughout the day as they strolled around town.
The one car “parade” came blaring through town on several occasions throughout the day decked out in green with green strobe light going, horn blowing and a whistle whistling. What could it be? It was a “St. Patrick’s Day Wagon.” Then what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a leprechaun driving with another in the passenger seat and one in the rear. Yep, Leppy and his sons had arrived on the scene and the party was officially started. The leprechauns strolled from establishment to establishment making merriment throughout the town. The little or not -so- little green guys were even helpful at time as they directed traffic so pedestrians could cross the street.
The bars were full and the restaurants crowded as folks were out searching for their favorite Irish delicacy. The party continued until the wee hours of the night with Irish music flowing along with the green beer, making this year celebration one of the best, and that’s no Blarney.