Raleigh's 32nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade draws huge crowds

The day was especially important for one little boy who was a part of the parade.
March 15, 2014 3:40:04 PM PDT
The streets of Raleigh were a sea of green as parade watchers dressed the part, including a father and son in matching hats and shades, and one little guy in a cap his mother says actually came from Dublin.

There was plenty of music, along with some Irish step dancing, some rickshaw rides, cool cars, and even some clowns.

"We get to see the culture, and the Irish dancing and we love that, it's very exciting and the children love all the candy," said Maggie Zschiedrich.

There was lots of candy and beads for the kids, along with other crowd favorites.

"I like the parade floats with the dogs on them, I think that it's really nice to see all the animals because I'm an animal lover," said Kaya Vaneijk.

Some impressive Irish wolfhounds were among the animals in this year's parade.

"They're like, have you gotten saddles for your dogs yet?" said Irish wolfhound owner Mckenzie Gambrel, when asked what people say when they see her dogs.

As much fun as the festivities were for everyone watching the parade, the day was especially important for one little boy who was a part of it.

Little Connor will be three years old next month and is currently undergoing cancer treatment. Make-A-Wish fulfilled his dream to be a firefighter for a day. So in addition to joining Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath as the parade's Grand Marshall, Connor also got to spend the day with Raleigh firefighters.

"For the challenges that little boy is facing, for his parents, his family, his friends, it's the least we could do. A three year old still has wonder in his eyes, and who doesn't like fire engines. If we could do this and make his life a little bit better it was a real honor and a privilege for all of us," said Chief McGrath.

Meanwhile, it was an honor for ABC11 to be a proud sponsor of the parade, with the Stormchaser and the weekday morning crew even making a special appearance.

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