Holyoke holds 62nd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Holyoke holds 62nd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

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HOLYOKE, MA (WSHM) -

There was music, floats and plenty of St. Patrick's Day spirit from both marchers and people lining the street.

It was all part of the city's 62nd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

For the Desrosiers, who live in Holyoke, Sunday marked the first chance they had to take part in the parade.

"We are expecting it to be fun and crazy with a lot of energy, like it usually is when we watch it," said Merrill Desrosiers. "It will be interesting to see with us in the middle of the road instead of the side of the road."

The Desrosiers family walked the route for their children's school, Mater Dolorosa. The parents believed it would make quite an impact on their young kids.

"I think they will be overwhelmed with all of the people along the parade route, four and five people deep," said Desrosiers. "I think they will think it is great."

Pulitzer Prize winning author and Massachusetts resident Doris Kearns Goodwin walked the route for the first time Sunday. One day earlier, she received the parade committee's John F. Kennedy National Award. It is a fitting award for a presidential historian.

"To be able to lay a wreath at John F. Kennedy's monument, knowing that my husband worked for him, and I wrote about him, it is pretty special," said Goodwin.

The parade also holds a special place in the hearts of city officials who help make the event happen.

"The planning for the parade starts the day after from last year," said Chief James Neiswanger of the Holyoke Police Department. "A lot of great people in the city are working. The parade committee works diligently at bringing this whole event together. It is a great family event."

Once the parade was over, quite a few Western Mass residents made their way over to the Wherehouse in Holyoke.

That was the site of state Sen. Michael Knapik's 19th annual post-parade reception.

Knapik said it is a tradition he has carried on from his predecessors.

"I remember 25 years ago, I was on a school committee in a town, and I came to the senator's party right in this very room," said Knapik.  "It is a place for people to rest for a few minutes, grab a libation, have some hot food and talk about current events."

There was no charge to attend the post-parade reception.

Knapik said it was open to all of his constituents.

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