Scenes from Winter Park’s 45th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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Cloudy skies couldn’t dampen the shades of green along Park Avenue as the Winter Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade marked its 45th year on March 2nd. The Saturday morning schedule was the first in the event’s history and was inspired by another yearly celebration.

“It was always difficult to get cars off the avenue on a Sunday afternoon,” Rotary President Butch Margraf told the32789. Organizers took a cue from the Winter Park Christmas parade, opting for a permanent Saturday AM switch with early road closures creating a smooth setup for the 60 participating organizations and businesses.

The post-parade Irish dance performances were preempted due to a conflict with Central Park Main Stage availability, but dance troupes took their turns entertaining the crowd along the parade route.

See the photo gallery for highlights from the 45th Annual Winter Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Spectators dressed in their finest Kelly green fashions began showing up at 7:00 a.m. for Winter Park’s 45th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Model A’s of Greater Orlando draw their own crowd in the setup area along Cole Avenue.
Girl Scouts of St. Margaret Mary Catholic School prepare for the procession.
Officers with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol make their way to the parade setup area.
The parade kicked off with the Winter Park Fire Department Honor Guard.
Grand Marshal Fr. Richard M. Walsh of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church greets the crowd.
Winter Park Mayor Phil Anderson and his wife, Jennifer, toss beads from the city’s parade float. Anderson rode in his final parade as mayor; his term ends this month.
Retired NYC firefighterJohn McDonald (center) marches with 14 members of the Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums. The group is a regular participant in Winter Park’s parade and is scheduled to march in five St. Patrick’s season parades throughout the state.
Reedy Creek Fire Department Pipes & Drums and Honor Guard make their way down Park Avenue.
The U.S. Armed Forces were also represented by veterans and military floats. Chief Master Sgt. Mel Jenner flew 31 missions as a radio operator and aerial gunner with the Army Air Forces during WWII.
United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. tow a model of the USS Thresher: the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine to be lost at sea.
Finnegan Academy of Irish Dance shows their skills along the parade route. Dancers treated the crowd to several performances as a scheduling conflict with the Central Park Main Stage preempted the usual post-parade shows.
Spectators watch as Watters School of Irish Dancing stops for a quick performance.
A representative from Canine Companions for Independence gets a treat along the parade route.
FusionFest puppeteers and dancers delight the crowd with a colorful display.
Model A’s of Greater Orlando ride in style.
The Shriners make an impression, and some noise, on their two-wheeled transports.
Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Colorguard show their pride.
The students of T.U.F Martial Arts School look tough as they show off their skills.
The Orlando Chapter of New World Celts ends the parade on a harmonious note.
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