Fifth annual St. Patrick’s Day parade rolls on

photos by rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Dancers representing the Falun Dafa get into the spirit of Ireland during the St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday.

Vancouver’s fifth annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, hosted by CelticFest Vancouver, went down as smoothly as Guinness beer.

More than 200,000 people from all over the Lower Mainland crowded the sidewalks of the downtown core to catch a glimpse of the 100 entries yesterday as Canadian Air Force CP 140 Aurora, Canada’s only strategic maritime surveillance aircraft, conducted a low-altitude flyby over the crowd.

Entries in this year’s parade included Irish dancers, stilt walkers, pipe bands, a Korean marching band, a gigantic leprechaun riding in a green convertible and B.C. Lion Jason Jimenez.

"My daughter thinks this is all for her because her birthday’s on St. Patrick’s Day," Vancouverite Paul Trites, 31, said. "It’s great family entertainment. It shows off the city and its diversity."

Alison Charavin, 43, agreed. "It’s not too commercial like the Santa Claus parade. It’s more for kids," she said. "My son’s been looking forward to this since last year. We came all the way from West Vancouver."

The spectacle was the final event for CelticFest Vancouver 2008 which launched its festival last Wednesday.

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