March 9, 2012
LIMA — Celebrate your inner Irish at the annual Irish Day parade. And this year, with the parade moving up a week, everyone has extra time to let their Irish shine.“We are the Lima Irish Parade, not the St. Patrick's Day parade. With this date change, we've got two weeks to celebrate our Irish heritage,” said parade co-chair, Darby Bourk.And if the numbers hold up, this year's parade will be bigger than any in recent history. “We have 90 units already scheduled to march, with more calling in every day,” Bourk said. “I think people are looking at the weather and seeing there's no blizzard in the forecast, so planning to come out and march.”Among the marchers are the O'Tooles, a bagpipe band from Fort Wayne, Ind., that has marched in the last three parades. “After the parade, they go to various establishments around town and give a little performance. It's nice because people can still see the bagpipes in person even if they can't come to the parade,” Bourk said.Also slated to march in the parade is Judy Brennan, who along with her late husband Mike Brennan was selected as this year's grand marshals.“Their names were brought to the committee and voted on. Mike was told he would be the grand marshal the night before he passed away. This parade will be a nice way to honor Mike's Irish heritage, and Judy will still march in their family's float they're calling ‘A Little Bit of Heaven,'” Bourk said.The luck of the Irish is expected to shine down on the festivities. “I'm looking at 48 degrees and sunny, but I'll be happy with 38 degrees too,” Bourk said.To the north, the Columbus Grove St. Patrick's Day parade will begin at noon Saturday. The parade route begins and ends at the American Legion parking lot. Food donations will be collected for The Lord's Pantry Food Kitchen.