LEVITTOWN >> The luck of the Irish paraded through Levittown Saturday morning as the Bucks County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade turned New Falls Road green with Irish pride.
Leprechauns, shillelaghs, shamrocks and Irish flags decorated floats, hats, shirts and faces along a blustery New Falls Road from Wistar Road to the Levittown American baseball fields near Pennsbury High School as thousands celebrated the Emerald Isle.
Parading to the theme, “Peace, Freedom, Devotion,” the parade stepped off with Saint Patrick himself waving to the crowds from the back of a Jeep.
From the members of the Ancient Hibernians (Newtown, Levittown and Bristol chapters) to the dancers from the Nicholl School of Irish Dance, the parade had Irish eyes smiling up and down New Falls Road.
Former Grand Marshal State Rep. John Galloway and members of the parade committee led the way followed by the official parade and parade-theme banners.
They were followed by this year’s Parade Grand Marshal Monsignor Michael P. McCormak who smiled and waved as he marched along the parade route with a shillelagh, a symbol of Irishness, in hand.
Monsignor McCormak, pastor of St. Francis Cabrini Parish, has been part of the parade as concelebrant of the Mass for many years. His staunch support of the parade committee and unwavering devotion to the local community have made him an ideal candidate for Grand Marshal, especially considering this year’s 2019 theme of “Peace, Freedom, Devotion.”
More than 2,000 marchers participated in this year’s parade, including the Truman Tigers Marching Band, the Pennsport, Hegeman and Uptown String Bands, WBCB and Eagles’ play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese, local law enforcement and emergency responders, veterans, a number of pubs, community groups and hosts of proud Irish-American participants.
State Senator Steve Santarsiero walked the parade route with his dog leading the way and getting a lot of attention from the kids there to see the parade. Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis Marseglia joined the Falls Democrats for the parade accompanied by her two canine companions. And Corryn Kronnagel, a candidate for district judge in Morrisville, Yardley and Lower Makefield, joined the march waving to the crowds lining the street.
Also joining the parade, among many others, were U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Senator Robert Tomlinson, Bucks County Sheriff Milton R. Warrell, III, the Falls Township Democrats and the Bristol Township Council.
Cheering on the Irish were members of the Pennsbury Falcon Cheerleading Association and Champion Force Cheerleading. VFW Post 1597 of Croydon rolled by with a 90th anniversary display and the Historic Trails Unit of the Girl Scouts brought plenty of green to the parade and lots and lots of cookies.
The Brookwood Band from the Bristol Township School District provided marching music with its snare drums, saxophones and trumpets; the Electrical Workers and Carpenters Local showcased their Irish pride; the Air Force “flew” by with a parade worthy aircraft; while the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans fired off gun salutes along the parade route.
The sounds of bagpipe music filled the air as the Irish Thunder entertained, Chapter 294 of Therapy Dogs International put paws to the pavement much to the delight of the crowds; and scouts marched by, many of them dressed in green and wearing green and white Irish beads.
Also joining the parade were the Family and Friends of Sean Mabin; the Pennsbury Relay for Life; St. Michael the Archangel Parish and School; St. Joseph the Worker Knights of Columbus; Pennsbury’s Wink4Pink Club; color guards from the Falls Township Police Department and American Legion Post 834 (Fallsington); the Grundy Senators Ice Hockey Club; Troop 30 in Yardley; and the CEC Eagles Dance Team.