Local News

Turn Out Heavy for St. Patrick's Day Parade

(Michigan City, IN) - People came from all over to celebrate their Irish heritage or simply have a good time at the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade Saturday in Michigan City.

          Bag pipes blaring from three groups of kilt wearing players from places like Chesterton and Shelby were among the highlights of the spirited 90-unit parade on Franklin St. in the city’s Uptown Arts District.

         There was also plenty of green clothing in the large crowd along with people like Jerry McCann-Young dressed as leprechauns complete with green socks and black shoes. 

         He came from Peoria, Illinois to visit his sister, Patricia, in South Bend and go to the parade. 

         McCann-Young also wore a necklace of lighted beer mugs and shamrocks.

         “It’s a time to get together with all of your Irish friends and celebrate the love of Irish people and the holiday of drinking beer,” he said.

         Jim and Donna O’Rourke respectively wearing a green top hat and green wig brought their grandchildren, Esmerelda, 4, and Trent, 7, from Chesterton.

         O’Rourke said he has 27 first cousins in Chicago where his father settled after migrating from Ireland.

         ‘’We’re very Irish. We go to quite a few parades,’’ she said.

         Kayla Fisher of Michigan City did the Irish jig like she does at every parade in her green “Lucky to be Irish” shirt and green felt top hat.

         “It’s a dance that Irish people do when they play the bag pipes ,” she said.

         Brock Kohler of Michigan City wore a kilt belonging to his late uncle to honor him and resume a family tradition ending with his death six-years ago. 

          “It’s the first time we’ve all been back in the parade since he passed away,” he said. 

         Among the dignitaries in the parade was LaPorte Superior Court 1 Judge Michael Bergerson whose roots also extend to Ireland where he’s paid a visit several times.

         A tradition in his family at St. Patrick’s Day is all of them sitting down for a meal of corned beef, cabbage and soda bread.

         “We never forget where we’re from and the traditions that got us here. One way or another, we’re all immigrants,” Bergerson said. 

         The most authentic Irish float was awarded to a white 1966 Chevy pick-up with a large Irish tap hat on the roof draped with green and gold balloons.  

         On front bumper was a stove pipe with pretend white smoke rising from the top and a large shamrock bow tie.

         Riding in the bed were the prince and princess of the parade, Dexter Hart and Rowan Hoener.

         They are classmates in kindergarten at Notre Dame Academy Elementary School in Long Beach.

         “She’s meant to be a princess.  She’s just so sweet and so beautiful on the inside and out,” said her mother, Ellie Hoener.

Weather Center

High School Scoreboard

Sports Scores