Parade Preparations

By Matt Markham

March 4, 2011 Updated Mar 4, 2011 at 8:42 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) We may still be two weeks from St. Patrick's Day, but the Emerald Isle meets Binghamton at the parade tomorrow.

Nimble fingers are tuning up, and plenty of potatoes are peeled to make Irish eyes smile at the parade Saturday.

The House of Reardon has been in the family for generations. The oldest Irish pub is readying for a traditional Irish supper.

"100 pounds of carrots, 150 pounds of potatoes, we got almost 400 pounds of ham," said Bob Norris, owner. "We're ready for everyone to come on down, and we'll be here."

"Everybody's upbeat and positive. It doesn't matter what the weather conditions are. They'll still come out strong," Norris said.

The Irish love a good tune. The saints and scholars at BHS will march.

Our steel drum band is playing yellow bird and Guantanamera. So not your typical Irish sort-of thing. It's fun, festive, everybody's celebrating," said Joel Smales, BHS band director. "Kids on the floats are having a good time, the audience is having a good time, bystanders are having fun."

As if back on the old sod themselves, The Hibernians hail to the grace notes of pipers.

"The Westchester firefighters come to town in the afternoon, they come over to the AOH Hall and we kick everything off here," said Tom Kelly, parade co-chairman. "It warms us up for tomorrow."

"It is a family event," Kelly said. "A lot of people come back to town, and they pick this weekend because they know they'll see people."

Ready to put a song in your heart, and a meal on the hearth on parade day.

A mass will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption at Court and Fayette at 11am.

The parade then officially begins at 1:30pm at that location, and goes down to Main and Arthur Streets.

Binghamton Police captain Patrick McCormick will officially start the parade.

The Grand Marshal of this year's parade is Sheila Madigan.

Mary Kathryn Kulp is the Maid of Erin.

WBNG's own Matt Markham will be the master of ceremonies.