March 19, 2005 It seemed like everybody was Irish Saturday as St. John celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a wee parade. Lasting about 10 minutes, it ran from the Winston Wells Ballfield to the intersection by FirstBank.
The parade started off with an array of flags. A convertible carrying the grand marshal, Sam Edward Ferrigno, followed.
"Only on St. John would the grand marshal be Italian," his father, John Ferrigno, said.
The Middle-Aged Majorettes strutted their stuff, this time wearing t-shirts adorned with shamrock-print bikinis. Some sported green hair and others wore crowns of shamrocks.
A motorcade of motorcycles revved their engines as they made their way down the parade route.
A group of visitors from Buffalo, N.Y. along with St. Thomas resident Mark Braddell carried the Quiet Mon Pub flag.
"Fun and frivolity," Braddell said when asked what brought him out.
It wouldn't be a parade without scouts, and this one was no exception. Four cub scouts from Pack 30 along with their leader, Roy Smith, marched.
While it may be short, crowds lined the street to watch it go by.
"I wouldn't miss it," St. John resident Jessie Merritt said.
Merritt, like many watching the parade, wore green.
St. John resident Eileen Duffy, waiting for the parade to start with friends from Montana and Washington, was decked out in a green shirt, a plastic shamrock necklace, shamrock earrings, and shamrock sunglasses.
"We're here to celebrate the most important holiday of the year," she said.
A number of people made the pilgrimage from the states especially to see the parade.
Charlie Williams of Rockport, Mass., wore a paper vest adorned with green shamrocks.
"Every year we come for this event," he said.
He said he and his family have been making the trip since 1977, long before the parade began.
A Wayzata, Minn. couple, Steve and Lorna Meyers, said they've been staying at Cinnamon Bay Campground since 1980. They said they always attend the parade.
"People remember the little things like the parade, not the shopping," Steve Meyers said of his visits to St. John.
Some people said they just happened to be on St. John, heard about the parade and decided to come.
"We're Boston Irish people, that's why," Nancy Caldwell of Concord, Mass. said when asked what brought her out.
St. John resident Artie Camisa wore a green T-shirt from the first St. John St. Patrick's Day parade March 16, 1986. It was only a sporadic event until the last decade when the Quiet Mon Pub began to organize the parade.
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