Naples St. Patrick's Day Parade draws thousands
NAPLES, Fla. - All ages were sporting green.
"It's fabulous and it's really entertaining," said Dawson Dietz, 11.
Like Dawson and his three brothers, who watched The 35th Annual Naples St. Patrick's Day Parade.
"You can experience a lot of different stuff of what you want to be when you get older," observed Dawson.
And Carol Spano from Massachusetts, who hasn't watched one in 25 years. "I haven't been to a parade for many years so i forgot how beautiful everything is," she said.
Eleven area high schools, clubs, alumni and two bagpipe groups marched in step. They traveled 1.8 miles down 3rd Street to 5th Avenue while more than 40,000 watched.
"The chamber of commerce says we're the most asked about event they have," said Patrick Mahoney, the parade chief.
And organizers say the parade keeps growing. Setup began early at St. Anne's Catholic Church at 7:30 a.m.
"We're outgrowing our setup area and that's a good problem to have," said Mahoney.
Today's parade started 35 years ago.
"It was just about five cars and a couple of bicycles, very simple," explained Mahoney.
Now organizers say in 10 years, it's quadrupled. Prepping starts in November.
"Communication is the biggest thing," said Mahoney. "It plays a lot of politics. We just have to get everybody in place at the right place, going in the right direction. It's not as easy as it sounds."