After a long gray winter, Dublin is hoping to see lot of green March 15.

After a long gray winter, Dublin is hoping to see lot of green March 15.

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade is expected to draw more about 20,000 people to Historic Dublin to celebrate the "greenest, grandest parade."

"We expect the weather to break and for everyone to come," said Mary Jo DiSalvo, Dublin events administrator.

The parade, which steps off from Metro Center at 11 a.m. March 15 will take 110 units down Bridge Street into Historic Dublin and south on High Street to Waterford Drive.

The parade is expected to last about 90 minutes.

The cold temperatures and winter's snow haven't kept people from registering units in the parade.

"We didn't expect many people to sign up because the weather doesn't make people want to think about a parade," DiSalvo said.

But the parade has a full slate, including a marching band from Baltimore, floats and horses.

"We have a full parade and we're pretty excited to think after this weekend the weather will be nothing but green grass and blue skies," DiSalvo said.

Grand Leprechaun Michael Blackwell, also the manager of the Dublin branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, will ride in the parade and help judge floats.

The grand leprechaun honor is given out annually to someone who has benefited Dublin through community service.

Former grand leprechauns will also be riding in the parade, DiSalvo said.

Fans of the shamrock and pot of gold balloons in the parade can get an insider's look March 15 at the Inflation Celebration at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of Graeter's, 6255 Frantz Road.

Breakfast can be found before the parade from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast at Sells Middle School, 150 W. Bridge St.

Near Sells Middle School the viewing area will be set up and Dom Tiberi of WBNS-10TV will act as master of ceremonies for the parade.

"He does such a good job of making it fun," DiSalvo said. "He's a Dublin resident and he knows as much about the parade now as we do."

With thousands expected, guests are advised to come at 10 a.m. and bring an Irish attitude to celebrate.

"The end of the St. Patrick's Day parade is just the beginning for Dublin," DiSalvo said.

"After that we start gearing up for the Dublin Irish Festival Aug. 1, 2 and 3."

For more information about the parade or road closures because of the parade, look online at events/st-patricks-day-parade-route/.