Hundreds turn out for the 40th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Peoria

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A sea of ​​people dressed in green lined the streets of downtown Peoria for the 40th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Thursday, for the first time since 2019.

The parade started at 11 a.m. at the corner of William M. Kumpf Blvd. and Monroe Street.

From Monroe St. the parade then took a right onto Main St., a left onto Adams St. and ended at Hamilton St. This was a brand new route compared to previous years.

“The best part of St. Patrick’s Day is the people. Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” parade announcer Roxy Baker said.

Baker said it was wonderful to have the show back after the cancellations in 2020 and 2021.

“This global pandemic has really made us appreciate everything we have, and it’s so magical, and it lifts everyone’s spirits to be able to get out there and celebrate this wonderful holiday,” she said.

Dozens of tanks, cars and motorbikes took to the streets, as parade marchers tossed candy to excited children. The largest crowds gathered in Monroe and Main St.

“It feels good because I’m here with my family, and it’s been a while since we’ve all been out. So we had perfect weather and we’re enjoying it,” said Cindy Curtis. “With us being locked in the house for a while, it’s nice to see people hanging out and having a little fun, especially with nice weather like this.”

“It’s great to see everyone having fun, partying and having a good time,” said 14-year-old Aidan Ossola.

For 23-year-old Dalton Mulligan, it’s also a belated birthday party.

” It’s awesome. My 21st birthday they closed all the bars at 8pm so it wasn’t a very good 21st. So we are catching up this year,” he said.

It was also an opportunity for Mulligan to continue a family tradition of wearing a green St. Patrick’s Day costume and accessories to the parade.

“My dad always wore a suit here, his dad and then his dad always wore it, so I thought I had to pick up the tradition,” he said.

WMBD’s Annie Kate and Shelbey Roberts served as parade judges.

Wiley C. Thompson