The sounds of bagpipes and children’s laughter filled the Crown Point Square as the city hosted its 12th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Night Parade. The one-of-a-kind event, the Region’s only night parade for the holiday, brought families and friends together.
Crown Point’s historic square is host to many events, such as the city’s Corn Roast and Oktoberfest, but its St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a highlight for many in the community. Crown Point Mayor David Uran is proud to host the parade as it celebrates the holiday in a special way.
“We came to this idea to have something unique. We’re not competing with other communities and having it at night can really showcase our downtown,” said Uran. “Today, everyone has a little bit of Irish in them. We appreciate everyone coming, supporting our community, and giving us an opportunity to showcase our great city.”
Groups and organizations arrived at the parade in droves to celebrate the community. One of these groups, the Pipes and Drums of the Lake County Indiana Sheriff's Department, participated in the parade to support police officers. Lito Lemus, a retired police captain, was excited to represent men and women that have served as police officers.
“I love playing bagpipes. I played Saxophone my whole life, and bagpipes are just another addition,” said Lemus. “It’s an honor to play bagpipes and it’s an honor to serve the men and women that have died in service.”
Many other local businesses and organizations joined in on the festivities, from Coyne Veterinary Services who marched with dogs by their side, to Spring Mill Health Campus whose bus lit up the streets. As usual, Mi Ranchito’s dancing horses brought up the rear, decorated and lit up with green lights.
Families and individuals came out to support the parade since it provides a great family atmosphere. James Patrick O’Neilson, who walks in the parade every year and sports bright green clothing and accessories, celebrated his 68th birthday at the parade.
“Everybody here is family oriented. The smaller family parades are a lot more fun than the big ones in Chicago,” said O’Neilson. “I love families taking pictures with me and celebrating the holiday together.”
While it is a big chance for him to get involved with the community, St. Patrick’s Day is also personally important to O’Neilson’s life.
“Many of my family members were born around St. Patrick’s Day, so I have been participating in these parades for a long time.”
As spring settles in, the parade marked the start of a new season of family-oriented events that bring Crown Point together.
“Spring will be coming here shortly and the parade really kicks off our festivals of free family events,” said Uran.
Find out more about Crown Point’s event schedule at https://www.crownpoint.in.gov/department/.
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