After five years, putting on a St. Patrick’s parade in downtown Pittston has started to become a science for city events coordinator Sarah Donahue and the parade committee.
“It is starting to feel pretty routine,” she said.
This year’s parade will step off at noon on Saturday, March 3, but Donahue and the parade committee have added some new features to the celebration that start this weekend.
“We always want to keep it fresh and keep ourselves busy,” she said.
For the first time this year, the parade committee will host a Little Miss and Little Mister Pittston Leprechaun pageant the weekend before the parade for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 7.
“The winners will ride in the parade,” Donahue said.
The pageant is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Pittston Memorial Library.
The parade’s pub crawl will also return Saturday, Feb. 24, starting at 5 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus and moving to Tomato Bar, The Red Mill and Brews Brothers, all to the sounds of the Wyoming Valley Pipe and Drum Band.
“That’s such a fun night,” Donahue said. “It’s so great to see the camaraderie.”
The festivities on March 3 will start with a special Mass at 9 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church followed by the return of the Leprechaun Loop 1-mile run at 11 a.m.
The 1-mile route starts and ends at the Greater Pittston YMCA and Donahue said runners can compete for speed medals and the best costume award.
“The loop also benefits the Care and Concern Ministries,” Donahue said. “It will be helping a cause that’s very important in our community.”
Donahue said she received 103 entries to walk or perform in the city’s fifth annual parade. This year’s parade will feature four pipe and drum bands, including the New York City Police Department Emerald Society Pipe and Drum band.
“They are very excited to come here,” Donahue said.
The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile also will make a return appearance in this year’s parade, Donahue said.
The family of this year’s grand marshal, the late Joe Keating, will lead the parade when it starts at noon on March 3 and winds down Main Street and through downtown Pittston.
“We’ve come really far,” Donahue said. “I’m really pleased.”
Pittston City Police advise that due to the parade and run on Saturday, March 3, roads will be closed to all vehicle traffic in the downtown area of this event beginning at 10:30 a.m. to provide safety for all participants. Roads will remain closed until the completion of the parade. Any motorists who plan on traveling through the downtown at this time are advised to make alternate arrangements.