Archive for Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thousands go green on Irish holiday

March 18, 2007


Thousands of people flooded Massachusetts Street for the longest St. Patrick's Day Parade in 20 years.

The parade began sharply at 1 p.m. when a KC-135 made a low-altitude flyover above Massachusetts Street.

"If that doesn't give you chills, nothing does," parade co-chairman Gene Shaughnessy said.

Organizers had to get special permission from the Pentagon for the military aircraft from the 190th Air Refueling Wing in Topeka to fly over.

Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co. chief executive officer, served as the parade's grand marshal.

"I was just honored to be asked to participate," he said.

Wearing a black Ford Racing jacket draped with a sash bearing the colors of the Irish flag and adorned with a yellow rose boutonniere, Mulally sat in the back of a shiny red Ford convertible with his mother and waved to paradegoers.

"This is my home, it's where I had my first paper route ... my own lawn mowing business, worked at Dillons, went to all the schools and KU," Mulally said. "To get a chance to come back for such a fun day is great."

"I'm so glad that he took time out of his busy schedule to come down and help us," said his mother, Lauraine Mulally, of Lawrence. "It's a great day."

As they traveled north down the parade route, paradegoers screamed and hollered. Some even blew kisses at them.

"Everybody wants to wave to me, so I wave back," said Lauraine Mulally, a former parade queen, who has participated in the parade for the past 16 years.

Organizers said they were pleased with the record 148 floats in the parade.

"It's awesome," said Steve Cummings, parade co-chairman.

Entries included everything from bands to Boy Scout troops, even antique lawn tractors capable of making wheelies.

People began lining the streets two hours before the parade started. Most were appropriately dressed in green garb.

With the edges of the street packed with people, others stood on building roofs and peered out second-story windows to get a bird's-eye view.

Patrons flooded out of downtown bars, many trying to get a peek at the parade from outdoor patios.

After the parade, awards for the best floats were announced. Here are some of the winners:

¢ Commercial division: Pet World, first place; Berry Plastics, second place; Music Club House, third place.

¢ Family division: Jayhawk Model Makers RC Club, first place; Curtiss Clan, second place; WRAP Program at Bert Nash CMHC, third place.


Tammy Copp-Barta 10 years, 9 months ago

It sure would be nice if they are going to be an entrant in the parade that they go the WHOLE route. Several pictures I saw in the gallery didn't even come down Locust street where there were lots of people lined up to see also.

Staci Dark Simpson 10 years, 9 months ago

the bagpipers didn't make it to North Lawrence, but I remember seeing everything else. We were on Locust by Johnnys. Great parade and a beautiful day!!

justsomewench 10 years, 9 months ago

is there a generally kid-friendly area to catch the parade or are the drunken college students shouting obscenities around and knocking into small children part of the show?

just curious if anyone's found a reliable spot...

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 9 months ago

You must have been distracted. I saw both of them in the parade. Schauner was in a car with his pets, and Maynard-Moody was carrying a banner.

George_Braziller 10 years, 9 months ago

Just curious. Does being or not being in a parade qualify one or not for running for city commission?

meggers 10 years, 9 months ago

Did the Sandbar win best overall float? If not, they definitely should have. The riverboat theme rocked.

Does anyone know if there were categories in the float contest not mentioned in the article? It seems odd that there would only have been two specialized categories judged.

It also would have been nice to have seen photos of the parade floats that won.

budwhysir 10 years, 9 months ago

Oh, I see there was a parad in lawrence, I was wondering why traffic was such a mess around downtown. I couldnt get anywhere. This answers alot of my questions about the redirecting of traffic

lynnd 10 years, 9 months ago

yes...the sandbar won the grand prize traveling trophy. the ljw article doesn't list all the awards, i think there was also at least one honorable mention prize announced as well.

lynnd 10 years, 9 months ago

there are pictures of the sandbar float on the website at

i agree it would be nice to see pics of all the floats in the ljw gallery- those who are in the parade never get to see the rest of them! thank god for dvr....

LawSW 10 years, 9 months ago

Oh yeah, how about that nice little rapper float spewing out "Motherf**ker" in the song--we heard that at the beginning of the line--one of the last floats--horrible--kids were everywhere--they should be sanctioned, fined and strung up!!!

Kathy Gates 10 years, 9 months ago

For the people who complained about some floats not going across the bridge, you should know about our experience. We had a bunch of kids on our float, which represented a kids organization in Lawrence, and we were NOT handing out candy--conscious decision on our part. No one harrassed us about it...until we got over the bridge. Unfortunately, once we hit North Lawrence, when people found out we weren't tossing candy, they decided to yell epithets back at us. The adults on our float were propositioned in very explicit terms more than once.

kj 10 years, 9 months ago

Did they show the whole parade on channel six. I had to work and set it up to record but only got an hour. I went to the On-Demand but they only had an hour of it too. I was very disappointed, I did not get to see my husband and friends who were in the last half hour of the parade.

Amanda Woodward Davis 10 years, 9 months ago

We were in the parade too and while we were waiting for the shuttle bus to come and take our girls back to South Park, the previously mentioned "rapper float" drove by us. We were completely disgusted and the poor people on the recycling float behind it looked like they were completely disgusted as well. I can't imagine having to ride behind that float through the entire parade. Don't they realize that many of the attendees were young children? I know which business that float was representing and they can be sure they won't get my recommendation anytime soon.

cowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

ok which business was it ? It used to be a rule , NO CANDY in years past for safety reasons.

I thought the parade was fabulous though , we were at Johnny's , the only place to be , and I missed a couple of floats while getting more "water" in my cup.

So whose the slimy rapper float ?

lynnd 10 years, 9 months ago

my understanding was always that nothing could be thrown from the floats, but stuff could be handed out by folks walking. maybe that changed? i heard that candy was being thrown this year and actually hit people.

i want to know who the rapper float was too!!!

Kathy Gates 10 years, 9 months ago

none2--seems to me like you're the one doing the exaggerating. How could you have been in all of North Lawrence to see what did or did not happen? I never said anything about wide scale gangs of youth harrassing the floats. Actually--it was adults that were the most offensive. I don't really care where the parade ends--I was just offended by posters complaining about volunteers who didn't live up to their expectations. When you dedicate your time to making a float, as well as giving up 6 hours on a Saturday to ride in the parade, then I'll pay more attention to you. The floats who bailed before the bridge don't deserve the attitude you give them.

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