WILKES-BARRE — Marchers might have to find their own way in the St. Patrick’s Day parade next week if the city can’t get a donor of green paint to mark the route.
Navigating the route shouldn’t be too difficult, however, when the 33rd annual parade steps off at 2 p.m. a week from today. It follows a straight line for two blocks along South Main Street, halfway around Public Square and onto North Main Street to the intersection with Union Street.
There’s still a chance the line could be painted, Drew McLaughlin, the city’s administrative coordinator, said Friday.
“It is generally donated and we are seeing if that could be done again,” he said in an e-mail.
In the meantime, the city is preparing for tens of thousands of people to attend the mid-March parade and festivities.
The city has lined up $22,025 from sponsors to pay for the parade, short of the $30,000 budgeted for the event.
The private funding is recorded as revenue and disbursed to pay parade expenses such as bands and wages of police, public works and emergency medical services personnel. The city will make up the balance of the expenses from its general fund. The balance depends upon how much more is raised.
“We’ll be soliciting for sponsorships up until the moment the parade ends,” McLaughlin said.
Contributors are: McCarthy Tire, $3,000; $1,000 each from Humford Equities, Petroleum Service Company Inc., City Centre by Amato Properties, Luzerne County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bottlenecks Saloon & Eatery, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Stell Enterprises Inc., Franchelli Enterprises and Geisinger Health System; $500 each from PPL Electric, Choice One Community Credit Union. Colours Inc., Luzerne Optical Laboratories Ltd., Martz Trailways, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald LLP, Northeast Recycling Solutions, Schiel’s Family Market, PNC, Northeast Eagle Distributors, Cross Valley FCU, Susquehanna Ale House, RBC Capital Markets LLC, Rodano’s, Elliott, Greenleaf & Dean LLC, L.T. Verrastro Inc., The Lion Brewing Co., Marx Sheet Metal & Mechanical Inc. and Vinsko & Associates P.C.; Parade Patrons, Reeves Rent-A-John, Hapkido Taekwondo Institute, Trans Med Ambulance, LOAH, Wilkes-Barre Township, D&L Consultants, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, Children’s Service Center and Wilkes-Barre Township American Legion Post 815.
Participants include: the Wyoming Valley Pipe & Drum Band; marching bands from Coughlin, GAR and Meyers high schools; the Avalon String Band; Tux the mascot of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Phillie Phanatic. Mayor Tom Leighton, members of city council and other area elected officials will march in the parade. The master of ceremonies on the reviewing stand on Public Square will be assistant city solicitor Bill Vinsko.
A parking ban will be in effect along the parade route and staging areas. Starting at noon, parade-day vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense from the following restricted areas: North Main Street from Union Street to Public Square; Public Square; South Main Street from Public Square to Dana Street; South Street from South Washington Street to South Franklin Street; Ross Street from Pennsylvania Boulevard to South Franklin Street; Hazle and Academy streets from Pennsylvania Boulevard to South Franklin Street. There will be no parking in the lot between Bell Furniture and the Army /Navy Store on South Main Street from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on parade day and in the Volunteers of America lot on South Main Street.
The parade will be broadcast live on WYLN TV-35, available on channel 7 on Service Electric Communications.