Photo Gallery | 25th Annual Hoosick Falls St. Patricks Day parade
HOOSICK FALLS, NY — The warm sun brought out large crowds blanketed in green on Saturday in Hoosick Falls for the 25th annual downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Festival.
Over 40 float units threw candy and played music in participation of the parade while the town cheered and clapped for their local law enforcement, businesses and other community organizations. This year, the big event featured the Albany Trolley, sponsored by Brundidge Insurance, which made stops at various locations.
Marchers dressed for the theme of "Irish Families" and represented common Gaelic names, crests and associated history. Gift card prizes were awarded to the best displays.
Bill Gallard, conductor of the Hoosick Falls Community Band and retired music teacher of Hoosick Falls Central School, kicked off the celebration in an old Cadillac automobile. Gallard moved to the area in 1965 and is active in the Lions organization and longtime volunteer of the Hoosick Rescue Squad since 1967, according to a release from the parade committee.
Local Irishmen Mike Conway and TJ Carmody are said to have ignited the parade to keep Irish culture and history alive.
Participants lined up at Wood Park and traveled down Main St. to John St., Church St. and looped back around to Wood Park. Three different marching bands and bagpipers echoed through the streets along with a float that had hand-written signs that read 'Thank you Gov. Cuomo,' 'Thank you EPA' (Environmental Protection Agency), followed by Girl Scouts dressed as thin mint cookies.
Stephens Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and the Wild Country Cloggers from Bennington County made an appearance as well.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) were stationed at the New York State Armory with blood testing and an information booth available.
The Hoosick Falls Country Club welcomed singer, songwriter Kevin McKrell, who has performed with The Kingston Trio, Hair of the Dog, The McKrells and The Dublin City Ramblers. The Immaculate Conception Church Hall was open to all after the parade for food from Jeans Place, Irish beverages and music from Shair Hand and Kirssy Fauler followed by entertainment from the Hubbard Hall Irish dancers.
The Safe Ride Committee and Steve's Taxi provided free rides home from 6 p.m. to midnight to ensure safety for people taking part in holiday festivities.
As opposed to last year's wintry weather and less attendants, Saturday's weather consisted of a light breeze and mid-to-high 50's.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.