2018-02-13 / Front Page

Delhi is Gearing Up for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

By Rosie Cunningham

Jason Thomson, Delaware Academy Superintendent, during the 2017 parade celebration. 
File Photo Jason Thomson, Delaware Academy Superintendent, during the 2017 parade celebration. File Photo DELHI - The eighth annual and much anticipated Delhi St. Patrick’s Day Parade is on tap for March 24 at noon.

Last year, more than 35 floats took part in the parade. The seventh annual Delhi St. Patrick’s Day Parade, sponsored by the Greater Delhi Area Chamber of Commerce, began at SUNY Delhi and wrapped up at courthouse square.

Parade organizer Glenn Nealis, who began the event eight years ago, said every year, the committee tries to make the parade a little bigger and a little better.

“Our primary focus on that is to try to add additional pipe bands and/or school marching bands, and encouraging more floats. For the last two years, we have offered a $250 prize for the best float and the County Shopper offers a free full-page ad for the best business float. We try to encourage any community based organization, business or private individual/group. The first year of the parade, we had two local families team up for a float, just for the fun of it. That was great and something we would love to see more of. We’re currently working on one new entry into the parade that we think people will enjoy – that’s a surprise. Additionally, Sportsfield Specialties has always done a great job on their floats, really trying to do something unique and entertaining, so it’s always fun to see what they have planned for the parade.”

Nealis discussed what he believes makes the day a great one.

“First, we have been able to attract competition-quality pipe bands which are not something people see or hear very often,” he said. “So, that makes it a little unique and brings people out. Second, it’s kind of the unofficial start of spring, even if the weather doesn’t always cooperate. After being cooped up all winter people are looking for something to do. We hope the parade provides that and coaxes them out of their homes and into the community for the day to have fun and hopefully support our local businesses. The parade usually occurs around the maple weekends and between that, the parade and other community events you can put together a day of family fun. Lastly, the parade is really just about having fun and enjoying life. That’s the real point of our parade and at that time of the year I just think it’s something people are looking for.”

Nealis added that the success of the parade is directly attributable to its sponsors. The parade costs between $7,000 and $8,000 per year, and all of those sponsorships come from the local business community.

“We are very grateful that from the beginning we have had the support of our business community and strive to make sure that they are proud of the product they enable us to produce,” he said.

“This year we are hoping to expand to four pipe bands,” added Nealis. “We are always seeking to encourage new floats from businesses, community organizations and individuals which is why we instituted the cash prize for best float and why Decker Advertising provides the free full page ad for best business float. So we are looking forward to new entries. We would also like to see more participation from surrounding communities as well.”

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