LIMA — Joseph McCormick proudly stood outside the stretch limousine that would carry him along the annual Lima Irish Parade route Saturday.
Why wouldn’t he be proud, after all, he’s Irish but on top of that he’s the parade’s grand marshal this year.
“It’s quite an honor,” he said.
The 66-year-old McCormick said he believes he knows why he was chosen.
“I think it was because I cry when I heard 'Danny Boy,' I’m able to drink a six-pack of Rolling Rock, and I know almost all the Irish in Lima,” he said.
Nearby was McCormick’s son, Mike McCormick. He drove up in the morning from Cincinnati to see his father as grand marshal. He said he planned to walk the route while his father rode in the limo.
The parade began at Main Street and Robb Avenue traveling south on Main Street to Town Square. People, mostly wearing some type of green, lined the streets along the route, likely totaling several thousand if someone had the ability to count them.
At the beginning of the route was Angie Cotrell, of Elida, with a vehicle advertising for her mom’s child care center, Joy of Learning Child Care Center of Elida. Cotrell was sporting a leprechaun hat as so many were along the route.
“We came out to the parade to get our name out and to have our kids enjoy the Irish tradition that goes along with St. Patrick’s Day," she said.
There were numerous vehicles in the parade advertising for a businesses as well as floats with St. Patrick’s Day themes and even a schoolbus painted black towing a trailer as part of the Noonan Family Irish Day Parade celebration.
Ellen Owsley, of Lima, said she has come to every Irish parade except one when she was out of town. She was with her daughter, Renee Wagoner.
“I come to see all the floats and the bands. We have come to all the parades ever since I was young,” Owsley said. “We come whether it’s rain or cold, snow or sleet.”
Stephanie Tummel, of Lima, had a vehicle to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She walked along the route passing out candy.