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Parade Goers Prepared For Chilly Parade Day

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SCRANTON -- Tens of thousands of people are expected fill downtown Scranton this weekend for the annual St. Patrick's Parade. The temperature, however, will be a much smaller number.

The vendors who serve all those people are preparing for a chilly parade day in the Electric City.

The Scranton St. Patrick's Parade is also known to many as an unofficial sign of spring, but it won't feel like spring on Saturday.

Gene Reed with Scranton's DPW took his traditional trip through the St. Patrick's Parade route Thursday, marking it with green.

Marchers and floats will follow this line in much colder temperatures; 20 degrees could feel more like single digits.

Bars along the parade route like Kildare's now have a few extra steps in their parade preparation.

"We're loading up the beer trucks," said Christopher Collins. "We have all of our food in already so we're ready to go. Once the tents get here, it's all about heating tents."

Kildare's usually keeps its parking lot fenced off, but open for parade partiers. This year, the parking lot will be filled with heated tents.

"Not knowing is the best part," said Collins. "We're expecting a large crowd even though the weather is not on our side, but even then, we're here to party, we're going to throw a great party."

The Hilton Scranton Hotel and Conference Center is expecting a crowded lobby this year instead of people checking out bands that will be outside.

"We've ordered heat lamps, so that will hopefully keep everyone warm. Obviously, we would like it to be a little bit warmer but we're just going to take what we get and go with it," said Victoria Rogers.

Of course, with the forecasted temperature, it's possible some parade goers may opt out of an ice cold beer and opt for something a little warmer instead.

"I think hot chocolate and coffee will be a big seller. I don't think cold drinks are going to be a big seller this year, but we'll see," said Dan Kosloski at Abby's To Go.

Abby's To Go, a new business on Courthouse Square, will also sell St. Patrick's attire to add on top of layers. They, like other vendors, don't think the cold will cut down on the crowd.

"If I had to pick, I'd rather the cold than the rain," said Kosloski. "I think the rain would really kill everything. At least the cold, you could dress a little warmer, the rain, once you get wet, people go home."

The Scranton St. Patrick's Parade steps off at 11:45 a.m. Saturday on Wyoming Avenue.

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