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'I wish I were Irish'

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | March 19, 2023 1:09 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Kathleen Sullivan has lived in the Coeur d'Alene area 16 years and not once came out for the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Until Saturday.

She's glad she did.

"I love it," Sullivan said.

She was joined by Orla, her Shih Tzu/Toy Poodle mix that sat in a stroller with a banner that read, "Bark If You're Irish."

Sullivan, who has Irish roots, said Orla means "golden princess" in Irish.

When asked why she decided to join the fun this year, Sullivan said, "I have Orla."

Thousands of kids and adults, many decked out in green shirts, hats, pants, glasses and socks, came out for the 18th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on a specular sunny day with temperatures in the mid-50s.

Put on by the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association in partnership with Idaho Central Credit Union, the parade's theme was “Shamrocks & Shenanigans."

There were plenty of both.

Leprechauns, a Guinness beer can, an Irish Wolfhound wearing a green tie, dancers and decorated Jeeps filed down Sherman Avenue in front of what may have been the largest crowd ever for the parade.

One shirt read, "I wish I were Irish," and hundreds agreed. Spirits were high and smiles were many.

Erich Hoffeld wore a kilt as he carried a sign that said, "Kiss Me I'm Irish."

"I'm feelin' great," he said.

As was Grand Marshal Doug Eastwood.

"It's sure a lot of fun," he said. "I would like to go eight more blocks."

Chylor Lance was joined by son Knight, driving a child-sized four-wheeler, as they both wore oversized green glasses and led the way for North Idaho Jeeps.

"I'm loving it," said Chylor, in an Ireland jersey. "It's one of my favorite days."

Knight got the crowd into it with some nifty driving in tight circles and a wave of the hand.

"He's been wanting to do this for a long time," his mom said.

A woman named Elaine wore a button that said, "I'm proud of my Irish roots."

She said she's been to Ireland several times and has found the people to be very friendly.

"And it's a beautiful country," she said.

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Doug Eastwood, center, grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, waves to the crowd on Saturday. Leading the way and carrying flags are Craig Moss, left, and Doug Kearns.

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Erich Hoffeld and the Guinness beer can make their way down Sherman Avenue in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday.

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Sue Walker and the Blazen Divaz perform in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday in Coeur d'Alene.

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Orla watches the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday in Coeur d'Alene.

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A child rides on big shoulders in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday in Coeur d'Alene.

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Vivian Laffoon leads Ike, an Irish Wolfhound, in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday. She is joined by parents Kasey and Emily Laffoon and baby brother George.

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Kerri Thoreson, Irish Woman of the Year, waves to the crowd during the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday in Coeur d'Alene.

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Members of Northern Dance Academy in Hayden perform during the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday in Coeur d'Alene.

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Karlynn King, Irish Colleen of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Coeur d'Alene, waves to the crowd.

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Chylor Lance with North Idaho Jeeps enjoys the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday.

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Henry and Finn Terra participate in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

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Dennis Redmond once again sported his favorite outfit for Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade in Coeur d'Alene.