Second Annual Rhinelander St. Patrick's Day Parade Submitted: 03/16/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - The second annual St. Patrick's Day Parade kicked off with a little chill in the air.

"Last year was really festive and everything and it was more like a memorial day parade," said spectator, Mary Romportl.

"But it's fun to come out here no matter what the weather and see your friends and everybody from town and everyone dressed in green so it's still fun."

"We didn't have 75 degrees and we're having as much fun or more than we did last year. The temperature will not make the day different." said parade committee coordinator, Jack Winkler.

People had no problem sporting green today.

"I thought it was pretty good for Saint Patrick's Day today," said spectator, Bonnie Ahlborn.

"It's a great day to get out and show your Irish heritage and just have a good time."

Despite the slight change in the weather, people enjoyed the floats and the Irish spirit.

"I like to see the hodag, the little kids, the green vehicles, it's fun." spectator, Jody Kulick said.

"The Families, it looks like a great coming together experience for a lot of people." said spectator, Kim Grasee.

"The best part to me is just to see people I know or haven't seen all winter and everybody is in a festive mood." Romportl said.

And even though it may not have been the sea of green from last year, those in charge of it were pretty pleased with the people who came out.

"Turnout is perfect. It's Saint Patty's Day," said Parade Committee, David O'Melia.

"We're here to do this for the community."

"Not a bad turn out. Kind of cold," Parade Committee, Tim Phelan said.

"Last year was 75 and sunny. We had a great crowd, but this year was good."

When the parade was done, to keep the Irish spirit going people headed to the pubs on brown street.

And the parade committee did something special this year for those who might have drank too much.

"We do raise money for the safe ride home program. So that if you've had too much Irish beer, you have an option to take a safe ride home." said O'Melia.

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