HILTON HEAD, Sc. (WSAV) – The Lowcountry kicks off St. Patty’s festivities early on Sunday with Hilton Head Island’s 34th Annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
“Last year was a blast, we had perfect weather, um lots of people came out,” Mollie Lenzi, a resident, said.
But this year, residents like Lenzi aren’t so sure about attending.
“Obviously it’s beautiful today, but on Sunday it’s expected to rain and be about 58 degrees, so definitely not interested in going if it rain or if it’s too cold,” she said.
“We have a two year old, I’m not really sure about the weather, so uh, risking it coming out here, it’s about an hour drive, so we’ll probably stay home,” said another resident, David Sheppard.
Tom Reilley, owner of Reilley’s Bar and Grill, started the parade here on the island 34 years ago.
“We opened Reilley’s in 82 and the parade, no one had a parade Hilton Head Island didn’t have a parade so it was a natural for me to think well let’s try a parade,” said Reilley.
And that very first parade was in the rain.
“Without a permit, we marched about half a mile, there was probably 300 people outside,” he said, “Now today, we’re probably gonna have 30,000 people.”
Lynne Hummell is part of the parade committee and said, “This is a rain or shine event so if you’re watching the weather report, don’t worry about it, if you’re concerned, bring an umbrella.”
In addition to five pipe and drum bands, the Wiener-mobile, and the Parris Island Marine Corp. Band, this year’s parade will honor those who played a big role in Hurricane Matthew recovery.
And one very special float that really hits home.
“The welcome home float by Byron Sewell, we’re gonna be on the truck,” said Jesse Cadman whose 4-year-old son will be participating in the parade with him.
“He’s gonna help throw out beads and candies to all the little kids and we’re gonna have a good time… that’s where we’ll be rain or shine,” he said.