EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 16, 2014

The Irish comeback

Past and present Lawrencians embrace the return of St. Patrick's Day parade


A dancing leprechaun tossed golden candy to children as the Ghostbusters were out on a mission to make sure no pesky ghosts interfered with the parade. Children also enjoyed seeing the likes of Mickey Mouse, Sponge Bob SquarePants and Winnie the Pooh on their neighborhood streets.

Clowns from Emmett Kelly Clowns sprayed parade watchers with silly string, and the PFA Dance Company impressed the crowd with their dance moves.

Many students from local schools marched in the parade as well.

Students from Lawrence Catholic Academy shouted loudly and proudly down the parade route “Everywhere we go, people want to know who we are, so we tell them. We are the mighty, mighty LCA."

The singing was Lawrence Catholic Academy 5th grader Matt Carlisle’s favorite part.

“The singing was fun,” he said.

Marching was less fun.

“My feet feel like they are going to fall off,” Carlisle said dramatically at the end of the parade.

The parade started off at Essex and Amesbury streets at 1 p.m. Passing The Claddagh pub, the parade then went over the Central Bridge, down Parker Street, taking a left onto Salem Street at Lawrence Catholic Academy. From there, the parade stretched down Salem Street, passing Pizza King and the Relief’s In. The parade ended at Market and Temple streets.

The parade was about two hours long.

“There were a lot people there. Everywhere I looked, I keep seeing more and more people watching the parade. That was cool,” the 11-year-old said.

The streets were indeed packed with people. Even former Lawrence residents made the trek into the city to relive a tradition that’s part of their past.

“I moved two years ago. But when I heard they were bringing it back, I knew I wanted to check it out,” Salem, N.H., resident Bill Walsh said. “I always loved this parade."

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