Levittown >> The Bucks County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade marched through Levittown Saturday morning turning the snow covered landscape green with Irish pride.
From the members of the Ancient Hibernians (Newtown, Levittown and Bristol chapters) to the Irish Step Dancers from the Nicholl and Fitzpatrick schools of Irish Dance, the parade had Irish eyes smiling up and down New Falls Road.
The Falls Township Police Honor Guard and State Rep. John Galloway (gold sponsor) led the march followed by the official parade banners and sponsorship recognition.
They were followed by U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Senator Robert Tomlinson (gold sponsor) and 2015 Parade Grand Marshal Joe Hogan, who was instrumental in helping Bucks County secure the location for the Washington Crossing National Veterans Cemetery.
More than 2,000 marchers participated in this year’s parade, including the Truman Tigers Marching Band and the Bracken Cadets, Irish dance groups, South Philadelphia-based mummers and string bands, Eagles’ play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese, local law enforcement and emergency responders, veterans, a number of pubs including the Five Four Bar and Grill, Stadium Bar and Grill and Dacey’s Irish Pub, community groups and hosts of proud Irish-American participants.
State Senate hopeful and former State Rep. Steve Santarsiero and Bucks County Prothonotary Judy Reiss joined Falls Township Supervisor Robert Harvie and the Falls Township Democrats for the march. They were followed by the Wallace for Congress and the Morrisville Democrats.
The Pennsbury Falcon Cheerleading Association cheered on the Irish as they paraded through town, American Legion Post 630 of Levittown rolled by with a display of flags 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 paraded by wearing lime green hoodies; while Action Karate demonstrated its defensive moves and the Bristol Township Twirlers performed for the crowds.
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, The Levittown Knights of Columbus honored the upcoming Easter season and scouts marched by, many of them dressed in green and wearing beads.
Also joining the parade were the Family and Friends of Sean Mabin; the Pennsbury Relay for Life; the Uptown String Band; St. Michael the Archangel Parish and School; the Bucks County Shriners Club with its presentation of Washington Crossing the Delaware; the Northeast Shrine Club Hell’s Bells; VFW Post 159 and a tribute celebrating 90 years of service; a color guard from American Legion Post 834 (Fallsington); American Red Cross Disaster Relief; and the Pennsport String Band.
To celebrate its 30th year, marchers wore arm bands signifying the Parade Committee’s efforts in bringing together the community for the past three decades.
The organizers of this year’s parade honored the Rev. Fidelis Weber and “Brother Larry” Hilferty as the 2018 Parade Grand Marshals. Both men have been pillars of the Conwell-Egan Catholic High School community for more than half-a-century.
Also appearing in the parade was former Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Senator Robert Tomlinson and others.