VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY: St. Patrick’s observance comes early for Marco

Hundreds lined the parade route to take in the spirit of the Irish heritage

The paradestopper

St. Patrick's parade youngster in tiny electric ...

— Led in by an engine from the Marco Island Fire Department and a cavalcade of motor bikes, Marco Island’s second annual St. Patrick’s Day parade took place amid a sea of green Sunday on the one-mile stretch along Bald Eagle Drive from City Hall to Elkcam Circle.

Guests of honor were local fire Chief Mike Murphy alongside Pete Hayden, who was a deputy fire chief on duty on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Two bands, one from the Marco Island Charter Middle School, and also from Lely High School, provided lively marching music, while floats from various organizations and clubs on the island provided the visual spectacles.

Mary Beth Schneller said she’d enjoyed the parade, particularly the middle school band, and was looking forward to wrapping up the festivities later in the afternoon at the gathering at Veterans Community Park.

Cutest moment of the parade came from young Chess Felice in an electric car which had a battery malfunction, and he had to be helped by mom to get roadworthy again. (See accompanying video).

Robert Wallace McCormack, a part-time visitor from Aberdeen, Scotland, quipped that if he’d had another Guinness, there could definitely have been some Irish in him.

“You know, they tell a story about the people who got in trouble in the North of Ireland, would get thrown out and go to purgatory over in the Scottish highlands.

“There’s only a short distance across the sea, and once in a while it’s very easy to get back and forth by boat under the cover of darkness, so I think some of the lads say they’re Irish and some say they’re Scottish only to protect their innocence,” McCormack said with a chuckle.

Joan McCormack said the Lely Band had been exceptional, and she also had good words for the charter school band.

The parade interspersed two days of merriment at Veterans Park, which hosted an arts and crafts show, food and drink, and live ... Irish, of course ... music.

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