(OCEAN CITY, Md.) - The Delmarva Irish-American Club's St. Patrick's Day Parade is the largest of its kind in Maryland. The town is expecting more people than ever for Saturday's event. W-R-D-E continues to broadcast the entire event for the 4th year.
Mayor Rick Meehan says this will be the kick off for their summer season. “It started with two or three cars and a couple of marchers and now it’s grown into the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in all of Maryland. We’re going to have over 125 entries," he says.
As he helps set up the parade on Friday, Meehan tells WRDE that this will be the biggest lineup ever. He expects the event to bring over 125,000 people to Ocean City.
“We have a number of marching bands. There will be pipers, there will be cars. Not only is there a parade, but there’s an Irish Festival at the end of the parade here at the 45th Street Village," Meehan explains.
At noon on Saturday, the parade will start on 61st Street and march south along Coastal Highway towards the 45th Street Shopping Center. Ocean City Police say traffic delays may start as early as 9 a.m. and that congestion can be expected until after 2.
Northbound traffic will remain open tomorrow but left hand and u turns will not be permitted along the parade route. The police department recommends using route 50 and arriving before 10:30 a.m. to get into town.
For those traveling from the south, Meehan says that the highway will start to get blocked up at Route 90 around 11:30 a.m. He advises to arrive early like the American Legion Post #34 who came all the way from Lancaster.
The group of about 60 arrived with their festive attire on Thursday . “Little bit of green, some guys come down in pants. We do it up really well every year, high socks, kilts," Tom Myers describes.
They've been coming for 7 years now and they’ll be watching the parade from right outside of their hotel.
“The party will be right down there at the Princess Bayside," explains Spencer Wingenroth.
WRDE will have live coverage of it all. General Manager Bob Backman will be riding in the parade to say hi to all of our viewers.
“This is our 4th year and it’s all part of our motto and our slogan: local local local," says Backman.
To avoid the crowd and still get a close up view of the floats and festivities, tune into wrde’s live broadcast of the event starting at 11:30 tomorrow morning.