St. Patrick’s Day kicks off early with Bucks County parade

In Bucks County, the saying “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day,” rings true, as people of all backgrounds come together to celebrate Irish culture. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Bucks County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, held each year in Levittown.

The theme for this year’s parade, set for Saturday, March 12, is Honor the Police, and law enforcement officers from all over the county will be present to march alongside members of the military, veterans, music groups, dance troupes, sports teams, emergency responders, community leaders, St. Patrick himself and more.

“It’s very important in the community, to have things like this,” Parade Chairman George Galloway said. “To tear down the walls and fences to build bridges.”

The 28th annual parade will begin with an 8 a.m. Mass at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Fairless Hills. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.and moves along New Falls Road, from St. Joseph the Worker Church in Levittown to Conwell Egan-High School in Fairless Hills.

Maggie Lorady, an Irish dance instructor and retired employee in the Special Education Department at Pennsbury School District, will be this year’s grand marshal.

“I am honored to be named grand marshal this year, especially with the theme being ‘Honor the Police,’ since my son is a police detective,” she said. “I proudly support all the members of law enforcement.”

Last year’s parade was cancelled due to inclement weather, and organizers hope that will not happen again. Regardless of weather conditions, the Mass will be on as well as the Hoolie, the after-parade party at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 920 Trenton Road in Levittown, immediately following the parade.

Though one of the bigger events, the parade is not the only thing happening in Bucks surrounding St. Patrick’s Day. Here is a list of special events that celebrate the holiday:

March 12

  • The Newtown Historic Association will hold its 14th Annual Tavern Night at the Half Moon Inn, 105 Court St. in Newtown, from 7 to 11 p.m. There will be 18th Century Ale, music, dancing, games, a silent auction and food catered by Joseph Garvey of Joseph’s Garden Grille. Reservations are $50. For information, call 215.968.3914.
  • The Pennridge St. Patrick’s Day and Celtic Festival will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade from South Middle School in Perkasie and proceed to Grove Park in Sellersville. Afterward, there will be festivities at the park until 5 p.m. That will include live Irish music, beer tent, children’s activities, vendors, Irish dancing and a “Men in Kilts” contest. For information, email pennridgecc@pennridge.com.
  • Gerry Timlin, a native-born Irishman, will perform folk music at the Yardley Community Centre, 64 S. Main St. in Yardley, at 7:30 p.m. For information, call 215.493.3010 or visit www.bcpac.org.

March 13

  • The St. Patrick’s 5K Race takes place at Warminster Community Park, 300 Veterans Way in Warminster, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration is $32.50. For information, visit www.warminstertownship.org.

March 16

  • The annual Newtown Irish Festival takes place at the Green Parrot Restaurant, 240 N. Sycamore St. in Newtown, until March 20. Events will include Irish dancers, food and drink as well as live bands both indoors and out. Cost is $10. For information, visit www.greenparrotrestaurant.com.
  • Those looking for kid-friendly ways to participate can head to Family Night at BounceU, 2221 Cabot Blvd. W. in Langhorne, from 5 to 7 p.m. Children can enjoy Irish music and dancing. Cost is $11.95 per child and for every paying child, an adult can bounce for free. For information, visit www.bounceu.com.

March 17

  • Washington House Restaurant, 136 N. Main St. in Sellersville, is offering a special menu including entree items like Lamb Stew and Corned Beef and Cabbage. Reservations are recommended. For information, call 215.257.3000 or visit www.washingtonhouse.net.

March 19 and 20

  • Crossing Vineyards and Winery, 1853 Wrightstown Road in Newtown, is having a St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Celebration. There will be special wine tastings and case discounts. For information, visit http://www.crossingvineyards.com.

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