Thousands gathered to share St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Central Illinois

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:15 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - Thousands of people celebrated St Patrick’s day at the parade in downtown Peoria Friday morning despite sub-freezing temperatures.

It was not just people from Peoria lining the parade route. Cliff Redecker said he flew from California to celebrate with family.

“I just wanted to see the cold coming from California,” said Redecker. “My sister has a decorated jeep in the parade, and I wanted to take her picture. She built a giant hat on top of her jeep, but being able to see the community on stage and Irish dancing is pretty cool.”

Parade committee chairman KC Murphy said 165 floats made their way through downtown, including some crazy entries.

25News spoke with one family that said the day has a special meaning.

“We’re catholic, so we love St. Patrick,” said parade attendee Jenny Witt. “We love seeing the bishop and the beautiful saints portrayed from Ireland. It’s just fantastic. We are here celebrating with many of our friends.”

Additional festivities happened at W.E. Sullivan’s Irish Pub and Fare. Bar owners held the block party in Peoria Heights.