SCRANTON — Before parade-goers arrive in downtown Scranton Saturday morning for the 53rd annual St. Patrick’s Parade, there’s a lot of work to do.
Parade organizers and Lackawanna County crews cleaned up the streets all day Friday. Bars and restaurants downtown got last-minute beer deliveries, and workers laid out hundreds of feet of fence along the parade route.
Perhaps the unsung heroes of Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Parade are the “fence guys”. For 15 Parade Days over the years the workers from Keystone Fence swoop in the day before and set up temporary fencing for bars and along the parade route.
“As much as we have, there’s probably 200 sections or more of fencing we put up. Each year they want more and more fencing so we try to accommodate them,” said Buddy Leon of Keystone Fence.
Newswatch 16 found them setting up around the parking lot at Kildare’s Irish Pub on Lackawanna Avenue.
The employees at Kildare’s said they need to be ready for 10,000 patrons.
“Today is what people don’t see, what actually happens on Parade Day. I think people think stuff magically appears. This is when it’s reality for us and we realize how much work we have ahead of us for the next 24 to 48 hours,” said Christina Galdieri of Kildare’s.
Galdieri said the number of people they serve on Parade Day seems to grow each year. That means, so does the work for the people who prepare for the parade.
“Today is hectic, there’s a lot of traffic downtown,” Leon added.
On Parade Day the city streets will be filled with parade floats. The day before they are filled with beer trucks
City Market Cafe on the corner of Adams Avenue and Linden Streets got a last-minute delivery Friday afternoon of 600 cases of beer.
Six hundred cases was just a scratch on the surface for workers from Banko North Inc. beer distributor. They had another 150 deliveries on their list.
Billy Griffiths estimated that they have delivered 100,000 cases of beer just this week.
“Scranton needs this every year, especially after this winter it’s been hard. Businesses need it, it’s good for business it’s good for us,” Griffiths said.
The Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade steps off at 11:45 a.m on Saturday in downtown Scranton.