Plenty of festivities from morning to night on the greenest date of the year
As spring emerges this month with the promise of all things green, the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade, a proud local tradition, returns to the downtown Saturday.
Presented annually by the St. Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County since 1962, Parade Day celebrates the culture of the Emerald Isle and a heritage shared by many families in Northeast Pennsylvania.
As of press time, AccuWeather forecasts indicated a few more prayers may be needed for the luck of the Irish to be with the more than 12,000 marchers set to fill the streets of Scranton with music, dance and revelry. Temperatures are expected to peak in the mid-30s F with cloudy skies and a chance of snow in the afternoon.
Festivities kick off Saturday with a special Parade Day Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral, 315 Wyoming Ave., at 10 a.m., followed by the Brian P. Kelly Memorial St. Patrick’s Parade 2-Mile Footrace at 11 a.m.
The course starts in front of Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., and is run entirely on the parade route. Registration will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. the day of the race at Lackawanna College Student Union Center, 600 Jefferson Ave., and costs $15. The first 250 registered runners receive souvenir T-shirts, and medals will be awarded to the top two male and female finishers in several age categories.
The parade steps off at 11:45 a.m. from Mulberry Street and Wyoming Avenue, then continues for three blocks to make a left onto Lackwanna Avenue for about three more blocks. The route then curves onto Jefferson Avenue briefly and makes a left onto Spruce Street for three blocks, followed by a final right turn onto North Washington Avenue for two blocks, where it comes to an end at Vine Street.
Parade Day typically draws tens of thousands into the city, making it one of the busiest and most crowded weekends for downtown Scranton. Parking is available in the Marketplace at Steamtown garage and paid lots throughout the city, though guests are encouraged to arrive early before streets close at 10:30 a.m.
For more information, visit the Scranton St. Patrick Parade Facebook page or www.stpatparade.com.
— patrice wilding
line of march
Bagpipers, marching bands, dignitaries, Irish cultural groups, step dancers and much more will make up this year’s line of march.
Pop singer and former reality television star Aaron Carter will travel along the city’s streets, too, performing on the KRZ float in the parade. He also will meet and take photographs with fans at Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton. VIP tickets are available for his bar appearance.
Carter released his self-titled debut in 1998 and found success with such songs as “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” He starred with his family in the reality docu-series “House of Carters” in 2006 and competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009.
Last month, Carter was hurt at his concert in Bradley, Illinois, when his opening act attacked him, accused him of making a racial slur and damaged his equipment.
— caitlin heaney west
There’s plenty to do in downtown Scranton on the greenest day of the year.
At Ale Mary’s, 126 Franklin Ave., check out entertainment by Eric Rudy, Black Tie Stereo, and Reach for the Sky. Cover charge is $10, and the kitchen will be closed, but folks can grab a bite to eat at a food stand outside.
Doors open at 9 a.m. at Kildare’s Irish Pub, 119 Jefferson Ave. The pub offers three ways to enjoy the day: a $15 cover charge that grants general admission; a $25 pass, which allows guests to skip the line, score a free T-shirt and get their first 12-ounce drink free; and a $75 VIP pass that also lets folks skip the line but grants access to a heated tent, private bathrooms and complimentary food and drink from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with a free T-shirt. Entertainment continues all day with four DJs, including DJ Jay Velar and DJ Rich Steele, and four bands: Madison Avenue, Pink Slip, Jigsaw Johnny and Flaxy Morgan.
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., opens at 9 a.m. with entertainment by five DJs, including, DJ EFX and DJ Fritz and five bands: Crashing Aperture, Exit Sixxx, Graces Downfall, Madison Avenue and That ’90s Band.
The Leonard Theater, 335 Adams Ave., opens at 9 a.m. with no cover charge until 11. After 11, a $10 cover grants access to a day filled with entertainment by Southside Bandits, DJ Jay Velar and Pearl Jam tribute Lost Dogs. Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave., offers two parties, with a $25 VIP pass granting inside and outside access. Inside at Trax Platform Lounge, DJ WD40 and Tribes perform and, outside will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with entertainment by Nowhere Slow. For a more intimate setting, the Keys Beer & Spirits, 244 Penn Ave., hosts an invite-only event as a way to thank the venue’s loyal customers. Anyone interested in attending can contact the Keys for details, email@example.com, through the bar’s Facebook page or by stopping by during regular business hours.
It’s no doubt downtown will burst with the Irish spirit Saturday. For those who don’t want to brave the crowds, there are other places to celebrate around NEPA. Head to Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub, 1392 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, for traditional Irish meals and entertainment by Fab 3 and TakenBack. In the Midvalley, party at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant, opening at 8 a.m. with entertainment by Sellout Soundtrack or Bud’s Bar & Grill, 402 Main St., Archbald, opening at 11 a.m., with entertainment by DJ Dennis.
For early risers, Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., offers no cover charge from 9 to 10 a.m. After 10, there is a $10 cover. Sing along all day with entertainment by Mace in Dickson, Ale House Funk Band, Bogyard Chugg Band, Light Weight and Tom Graham. Fuel up at Cooper’s Seafood House’s Parade Day Breakfast Buffet at 701 N. Washington Ave., from 7 to 11 a.m. The party continues throughout the day as EJ the DJ spins in the ship section starting at 9 a.m. followed by the Wanabees. Jack Bordo and Jim Cullen perform on the restaurant side. Tickets are $15, and reservations are recommended. Reservations can be made by calling 570-346-8049 or visiting coopers-seafood.com.
Don’t forget about the kids. Family-friendly fun can be found at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., at St. Patrick’s Parade Day Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the ballroom. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Entertainment will be provided by Old Friends Celtic Band, with additional performances from parade acts. The whole family can warm up inside St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 232 Wyoming Ave., grab some hot chocolate or get something to eat like pulled pork sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, green-themed-desserts and the church’s famous Welsh cookies. POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave., hosts St. Paddy’s Day Stache Bash to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A gourmet breakfast will be served, and a draft bar will be available. Guests can dance to music provided by a DJ and participate in games and the mustache awards. Tickets are $37 for breakfast and drinks from the bar and $23 for breakfast with non-alcoholic drinks. Tickets for kids 6 to 12 are $15, and admission is free for children under 5. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
A Parade Day tradition, keep an eye out for Greater Scranton Black Diamonds Pipe Band as it stops at venues around NEPA, including Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub, Bud’s Bar & Grill and Thirst T’s Bar & Grill.
— gia mazur