March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day parade draws thousands to Gaithersburg

The rhythmic tapping of Celtic dancing and the drone of bagpipes filled the air Saturday during Gaithersburg's 11th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Thousands of spectators were on hand for the celebration, held at the Washingtonian Center. This year's event set an attendance record with more than 7,000 spectators, said Gaithersburg Police spokesman Officer Dan Lane. The parade generally draws about 4,000 people from around the county, according to organizers.

Sixty-nine groups of dancers, bagpipe bands, school groups, clowns, fire trucks, equestrian units, service organizations and others marched in this year's parade, said Dorthy Winder, the city's coordinator for the event. Two Irish-American authors — Alice McDermott and Danny Costello — served as grand marshals. The parade was sponsored by the city of Gaithersburg, Harp and Shamrock Society of Gaithersburg and the Peterson Companies at Washingtonian Center. For information about the parade, contact the city of Gaithersburg at 301-258-6350 or www.gaithersburg

Photos by Anthony Castellano/The Gazette. Dancers from the Hurley School of Irish Dance perform on a float during the parade on Saturday. Pictured are (from left) Gracie Kennedy, 13, of Olney; Rachael Belcher, 14, of Ashton; Laura Knipe, 14, of Olney; Bridget Reese, 14, of Ellicott City; Megan Chun, 14, of Bethesda and Fiona Caretto, 14, of Germantown. SOURCE: Gazette

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