PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Irish eyes will be smiling Saturday in the City of Peekskill.
The 26th Annual Peekskill St. Patrick's Day Parade will be going through downtown at 3 p.m. Peekskill resident Kathleen McGurty will be the grand marshal.
The march also will feature dignitaries from Castlebar, Ireland, Peeskill's sister city.
The parade makes a left on First Street, passes Assumption Church, then right on Union Avenue, right on South Street, left on Division Street, right on Main Street, right on James Street and right on Brown Street. The reviewing stand is on the corner of Park and James streets, where most of the bands perform.
The parade is preceded by a special Mass at Assumption Church at 1:30 p.m. and a grand marshal's brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Elks Club at 1038 Brown St.
McGurty has been involved with the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee since its inception and has served as treasurer and helped organize the annual Mass. McGurty's husband and father-in-law previously served as grand marshals.
"The parade is a harbinger of spring," said Bill Powers, St. Patrick's committee chairman. "With all the snow, it's a reason to come out and enjoy the day and be outside."
Peekskill's parade features about 5,000 attendees and close to 1,000 marchers.
"It's a celebration of Irish heritage," said Powers, who is half Irish and half Scottish. "This has become a mainstay in the City of Peekskill."
St. Patrick's Day gives Powers a chance to reflect on his Irish heritage and to give back to the city.
"This is a great event," Powers said. "It's a family fun day, there's lots of stuff for kids to see. People come from all over the area and have a great time."
Powers said many pipe bands perform in the White Plains St. Patrick's parade before heading to Peekskill.
The Peekskill parade used to be Thursday night before it established enough a reputation to move to Saturday.
"I hope this enhances the economic development of Peekskill," Powers said. "People come to the parade and then go to restaurants and businesses."
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