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Crowds Brave Cold Weather to Enjoy Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade

DSC_0835HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — The cold weather didn’t keep people away from the streets of Holyoke today.

Thousands turned out for the city’s 62nd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, each with a way to deal with the chilly wind.

During last year’s St. Patty’s Day parade…you could barely tell it was still March because it was so warm it felt like summer. That wasn’t the case this time around according to several parade goers we spoke with..

“I just keep warm because I got a lot of layers in my body,” said Pat Johnson of Holyoke. “Takes a lot to keep me away from the parade.”

In fact, Johnson and her buddies have a little ritual they use to stay warm. Huddling around, the stomp their feet and chant “ cold, cold, cold.”

But the best advice of the day from many was dressing properly.

“We layer, moving, moving, we keep moving and then you do this,” said Meg Maynard of Holyoke as she dances a quick jig.

Some folks like a group of friends from Agawam and Chicopee kept warm with some coffee, but others are just in high spirits. Beer and other adult beverages proved to be a popular drink along the parade route.

“Well, we got some hot chocolate, and some action, Gotta represent the irish! Gotta represent the irish!” said Jessica Carrignan of Westfield with a laugh.

Not even the firefighters were fazed… especially that the temperatures were in the low 30’s.

“It doesn’t bother me one bit,” said Greg Stuart of the Warehouse Point Fire Department in East Windsor, CT. “We’re dedicated we get hot when we go into the burning buildings, we come out here to cool off.”

With just a few extra layers of clothing, our own ABC40 team was able to march down Northampton Street all smiles – proving not even 30 degree temps can stop St. Patty’s parade.

It’s estimated that upwards of 250,000 people showed up to watch the festivities and cheer on the participants.

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