Dublin Villager

St. Patrick's Day celebration

Volunteers play key role in parade that draws 20,000 spectators

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This weekend 20,000 people will descend upon central Ohio's own piece of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

The Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Celebration will offer up the "Greenest, Grandest Parade" of 110 units in Historic Dublin at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15.

The parade steps off from Metro Center and will wind down Bridge Street and south on High Street in Historic Dublin before ending at Waterford Drive.

There are 110 units in the parade that is expected to last about 90 minutes and Grace Gushue has helped organize it all by volunteering in the information booth for about 15 years.

"People are usually trying to find their spots," the Dublin resident and owner of Dublin-based Performance Printing said.

"We tell them what lot to go to, we point floats to where the floats are."

Dublin Volunteer Resources Administrator Christine Nardecchia said Gushue's work and cheer has been invaluable over the years.

"I was raised in Buffalo and parades were a big thing there," Gushue said.

"I love to volunteer at the information booth and see all the kids ... it makes you feel like you're celebrating.

"If I volunteer, I feel like I'm part of it," she said.

Gushue got to see her daughter off to the parade each year with the marching band, and the music-makers remain one of her favorite parts of Dublin's annual parade.

"I like the high school band groups probably because my daughter was a member," she said.

"And the floats. That's what a parade is about, the music and the floats."

Dublin businesses can also get into the spirit through sponsorships and the parade partner program that pairs businesses with groups in the parade.

"We have a new automobile sponsor: Chevrolet of Dublin is opening soon," said Mary Jo DiSalvo, Dublin events administrator.

"They're coming to Dublin and are going to be sponsor ... . Lots of small businesses in Dublin have signed on to be parade partner sponsors.

"I'm excited they understand the process and can be part of the parade."

Before the parade, visitors can grab breakfast at the annual Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast at Sells Middle School, 150 W. Bridge Street, from 7 to 11 a.m. The breakfast for adults costs $6 and children can eat for $4.

The Inflation Celebration will allow an insider's look at readying the parade's balloons at 9:30 a.m. in the Graeter's parking lot, 6255 Frantz Road.

The Hooligans will entertain the crowd at the review stand in front of Indian Run Elementary School starting at 10:15 a.m.

As a volunteer at the information booth, Gushue misses part of the parade as well as the performance from the Hooligans, but she doesn't regret her decision.

"It just puts you in the spirit of the holiday," she said.

"Rain or shine, it puts you in a good mood and you get to wear green ... . I'm at the age when my kids have grown, so you wouldn't go to the parade.

"But as I get older, I think doing this makes me younger."

ThisWeek Dublin Villager is a sponsor of Dublin's annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade.

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