Raleigh St. Patrick's Day parade in need of sponsors

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The Raleigh St. Patrick's Day parade attracted a sizable crowd to the city's downtown streets.

"This is my first here in Raleigh," said Michael Mullins. "My ancestors are from Ireland, and we look forward to this!"

Young Michael Mackie agreed: "I love it! I like the bands a lot!"

They put on a rousing show for the parade fans. But behind the frivolity, there's awareness that this could be the last St. Patrick's parade unless organizers can find sponsors to pay about $10,000 for security provided by Raleigh police.

"Up until this year we didn't have those charges," said former parade director Frank Mellage. "The police support was free. And I guess the issue now is there are so many downtown events, they have to start charging."

Jack Chism, walking his Irish Setter before participating in the parade, said "I was surprised, too, considering all the people that line the streets. I had no idea the funds were in jeopardy."

Stay with Eyewitness News for the latest on efforts to keep the St. Patrick's Day parade rolling through Raleigh.

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