By Jackolyn Houghton
The frigid cold temperatures on Saturday March 11 were no match for the high spirits of St. Patrick’s Day revelers, as both residents and visitors of Hoosick and Hoosick Falls celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a parade and IrishFest. [private]
The Parade stepped off with Grand Marshall Robert “Bobby” Ryan in the lead from Main Street in the cozy little village. Ryan, a lifelong resident of Hoosick Falls and a proud Irishman, lives with his wife Carol in the village, and has three grown children.
His dedication to the village and town put him at the top of the listfor Grand Marshal. Ryan has been an active member of the Town and Village serving on the Hoosick Town Board for 20 years and currently serving on the Village Board of Trustees.
It was a very cold afternoon in Hoosick Falls, with temperatures in the teens, and wind chills reaching single digits, but people just bundled up and kept smiling. The parade consisted of many family floats including the O’Malleys, Glovers, and McGuires.
Others marching included the Hoosick Falls Fire Department, Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department Color Guard, and the Olde Saratoga Fyfe and Drum Band.
Dozens of onlookers greeted the parade with cheers and applause. Smiling children could be seen running towards floats to grab the candy that was being tossed by the float riders. The atmosphere was a celebratory one. Village resident Linda Billard said that even though it was freezing out she was glad the parade was not postponed. She said, “it gives Hoosick Falls something good to talk about instead of the recent water problems.”
Following the parade, the festivities continued throughout the Town of Hoosick. At Immaculate Conception Parish people enjoyed a free cup of hot chocolate or purchased corned beef sandwiches, corn chowder and other foods made by Jean’s Place, while they listened to the Irish music of Hill Hollow Band and watched the Hubbard Hall Irish Dancers perform. Some patrons attended The Sand Bar Restaurant who hosted Celtic games and bagpipers. The Polish Hall served corned beef sandwiches and hosted Together Again and Original Express Band. The Eagles Club served corned beef dinners while hosting The J 3 Experience. In addition, Brown’s Brewery hosted Mark Jones with acoustic music, along with their own brews and food. Man of Kent also featured food and beer and, in addition, offered rides for anyone who wished to attend other Irish Festival venues.
The newest Irish Festival venue was the ADAPT Family and Kids Fun Zone at Weeb’s Fish Fry’s Warehouse where families could celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with games, face painting and peace of mind.
There was no shortage of celebratory venues and no matter which one you chose, you were sure to be entertained. It most definitely was another successful Hoosick Falls Irish Festival. For information on how to enter your float in next year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade contact: Kevin O’Malley at email@example.com. [/private]