St. Patrick's Day Parade Cheers Crowds

Crowds were lighter this year, but sure and it was a good parade.

With St. Patrick leading the way, the annual Hermosa Beach St. Patrick's Day parade wended its way down Pier and Hermosa Avenues to a lighter, but delighted crowd.

The parade had been originally scheduled to happen on March 17 but was postponed in anticipation of the major rain storm that dropped half an inch on the beach communities.

"We talked about [postponing] early in the week," said Andrea Jacobsson, a member of the executive board of the Hermosa Beach Chamber of the Commerce, which has been running the parade for the past two years. She added that.

Lt. Garth Gaines, of the Hermosa Beach Police Department, said that roughly 3,500 people came out to watch the bands, floats and vintage cars. He guestimated that the crowd was down by about a third from previous years.

"That's based on density," he said, cautioning that it was a very rough guess.

"It would have been less last week," joked Ken Hartley, another member of the Chamber's executive board, about the lighter crowd.

He said that the parade had only lost about five entrants due to the postponement and had gained two more.

Finbar Hill, the honorary consul general for Ireland, said that the Hermosa Beach St. Patrick's Day parade is one of very few in Los Angeles.

"It's well represented and it makes an excellent representation of Ireland," he said.

Jack Robinson, age 11, was excited about the parade partly because his brother plays in the Hermosa Valley Band. But he also liked coming to the parade just for the fun of it.

"Cause it's fun to see all the floats, and the candy," he said.

Candy was understandably an attraction, as most of the parade entrants generously distributed candy to the crowds, especially at the beginning of the parade route.

Daphne Hall, of Hermosa Beach, said that she and her daughter Samantha, age 6, changed their plans for the weekend so that they could come to the parade.

"I like St. Patrick's Day," Samantha declared.

"It's a family event and [Samantha] thoroughly enjoys it," Daphne Hall said.


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