People line the streets of Downtown Raleigh for St. Patrick's Day parade despite cold temperatures

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Overnight intense showers across the area cleared out in time for the return of Raleigh's St. Patrick's Day parade.

Filled with fun, fellowship and appreciation of a return to tradition after the pandemic pause, hardy parade fans showed up and lined the parade route through Downtown Raleigh. Hardy parade fans showed up and lined the parade route through Downtown Raleigh.

Some who arrived early for the best views of the festivities did not mind the overcast skies.

"Well, it would be nice if we had a little more sun. But it's not snowing and it's not raining, so I guess we should be happy," parade fan Vikki Grace said.

But the wind and a temperature drop convinced some to bundle up, especially if they came with kids. Many people at the parade bundled up with green coats, scarfs and hats, because green is the traditional color associated with Ireland.

"These are leftover accessories from years on end," fan Sophie Hansen said.

"Recycled every year. Hat, and my feather boa is a staple," said Mary Kay Clifford.

Chief meteorologist Don Schwenneker hosted ABC11's online coverage with Kelly Mellage, whose dad organized the original, modern day St. Patrick's parade in Raleigh before his death in 2018.

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"He wore, every St. Patrick's Day, a green moustache. That first St. Patrick's Day in 2019 was six months after he passed away," Mellage said. "And every single gentleman in AOH, the Ancient Order of Hibernia Organization here in Raleigh, all painted their moustaches green... but with everywhere I looked. It was such a sweet homage to him and a surprise to me."

ABC11's eyewitness news team joined in the parade. Kweilyn Murphy, Ana Rivera, Amber Rupinta and Dejuan Hoggard all smiled at parade fans like Jackson Hansen, who wore his green t-shirt.

"It says, I love. I don't know. Lucky Beer?- all in the spirit of the day." said Hansen.
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