Parade Will Begin St. Patrick’s Day Fun in Downtown Sharon

SHARON, Pa. – The inaugural Slainte Sharon St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16, downtown.

It will include more than 60 floats and marching units, according to Courtney Cilli, downtown events coordinator.

It will start on the campus of Penn State Shenango and end at The Original Quaker Steak & Lube.

Slainte (pronounced SLAWN-cha) means “good health” and is a common Gaelic toast.

The participants include Burke School of Irish Dance of Youngstown, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Trails End Conservancy horses, Penn State Shenango, Buhl Club dancers, Sharon robotics teams and Flynnie, the Flynn’s Tire mascot, among many others.

The date was chosen so it doesn’t interfere with actual St. Patrick’s Day events in the Shenango Valley. 

“Our plan is for it to continue to grow and attract people for overnight stays in the area to enjoy a whole weekend of entertainment,” said Cilli, adding that the parade is family and pet friendly. “We wanted it that way for those that wanted a family-friendly option for celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.” 

The Original Quaker Steak & Lube has played host for more than 40 years to a full day’s celebration on St. Patrick’s Day and will do so again this year.

Brenda Steines, general manager of the restaurant, was happy when she learned of the parade. “We saw this as a great add-on to our event, even though the parade is the day before ours, because this might encourage people to come into our area and stay over.”

The city is inviting the public to bring pet food, litter, used blankets, cleaning products and other items to support local animal charities such as the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter, Tails of Hope, Strayhaven Animal Shelter and Animal Protection League of Western PA.

The items will be collected by a vehicle in the parade as it passes by. Parade-goers are also invited to dress their pets and walk in the parade. 

“They will have a designated space away from music and firetrucks so pets will be less anxious,” Cilli said. 

The pets will be judged in various costume categories.

A “Blessing of the Pets” by Father Adam Trambley will take place after the parade on an outdoor stage at Quaker Steak & Lube. There will also be music by DJ Rick, Piper Ross Williams, parade award announcements and the Burke’s School of Irish Dance students along with a vendor area. Fireworks will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Pictured at top: The Burke School of Irish Dancers will be among the participants in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sharon, Pa.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.