“Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” parade is this Saturday

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – You’ll be seeing green this Saturday in Buffalo’s Valley and Old First Ward neighborhoods when the “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” parade takes to the streets.

The parade leaves from the Valley Community Association, 93 Leddy St., at noon. The parade will mostly follow the Old Neighborhood Parade route, ending up at Buffalo River Fest Park, 249 Ohio St., for a party afterward.

The party will have Irish food, hot dogs and hamburgers, beer and slushies, and Irish music, Peg Overdorf, executive director for the Valley Community Association and Buffalo River Fest Park, said.

It will be the first “St. Patrick’s Day” parade the city has seen in the past two years due to COVID-19.

“I think people are thrilled to be back out of the house again,” Overdorf said. “I had a hard time finding volunteers because everyone wants to celebrate, which is always a good sign.”

The parade will be smaller than the traditional Old Neighborhood Parade, which the Valley Community Association organizes – but will still feature community groups and floats.

Notable area residents Jim Sumbrum and Pat Dunbar will serve as co-grand marshals for the parade. Sumbrum was named grand marshal in 2018, but couldn’t attend due to a hospitalization, and Dunbar was named grand marshal for the canceled 2020 parade, Overdorf said.

“Especially to have these two guys honored, that’s my whole goal of having the parade,” she added.

You can expect the celebration to continue at local restaurants and bars after the event at Buffalo River Fest Park wraps up.

The weather for Saturday is looking warm – quite a difference from usual St. Patrick’s Day parades.

“People stand out [in March] when it’s nine degrees out, and they come out in droves,” Overdorf said.

You can find more information on the parade and the Valley Community Association here.

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2016. See more of her work here.

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