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posted: 3/17/2013 5:42 AM

A cold but fun St. Patrick's parade in St. Charles

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  • Joe Hanisch, 12, of St. Charles takes a peek at what's coming next in the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles on Saturday. His birthday falls on St. Patrick's Day.

       Joe Hanisch, 12, of St. Charles takes a peek at what's coming next in the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles on Saturday. His birthday falls on St. Patrick's Day.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Alex Nicolas, Chase White, Joe Hanisch and Kevin Faulk, all 12 and from St. Charles, cheer on classic Corvettes in the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles Saturday. Joe's 13th birthday is on St. Patrick's Day.

       Alex Nicolas, Chase White, Joe Hanisch and Kevin Faulk, all 12 and from St. Charles, cheer on classic Corvettes in the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles Saturday. Joe's 13th birthday is on St. Patrick's Day.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Daniel Shanahan, 9, left, and his brother Jameson, 12, of Geneva, watch the St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown St. Charles on Saturday. The boys and their sister, Kate, 6, come to the parade almost every year.

       Daniel Shanahan, 9, left, and his brother Jameson, 12, of Geneva, watch the St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown St. Charles on Saturday. The boys and their sister, Kate, 6, come to the parade almost every year.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Crowds along Main Street enjoy the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles Saturday.

       Crowds along Main Street enjoy the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Ronda Baird of St. Charles wears funny shamrock glasses to the St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday in St. Charles.

       Ronda Baird of St. Charles wears funny shamrock glasses to the St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday in St. Charles.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • The Chicago Highlanders Pipes and Drums marches down Main Street in the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles Saturday.

       The Chicago Highlanders Pipes and Drums marches down Main Street in the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Shea Fink, 7, of Geneva watches the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles on Saturday.

       Shea Fink, 7, of Geneva watches the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Charles on Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • The Chicago Highlanders Pipes and Drums marches down Main Street in St. Charles Saturday.

       The Chicago Highlanders Pipes and Drums marches down Main Street in St. Charles Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

"Gangnam Style" and "Disco Inferno" aren't your typical St. Patrick's Day parade songs.

But spectators at the annual parade along Main Street in St. Charles Saturday cheered loudly when the St. Charles East High School's marching band finished its rendition of the 1970s hit by The Trammps.

Almost just as many cheers came for a young spectator who broke into a perfect rendition of the "Gangnam Style" horse-like dance when the song blasted from one of the vehicles in the parade.

"I like it because it's a dancing song. I learned it from my sister," said 7-year-old Nina, of St. Charles, who came to the parade with her mother Laura Fugitt.

As befitting an Irish parade, there were bagpipes, kilts and plenty of Irish music. And of course, both humans and canines wore all manners of green clothing. For those who forgot to wear the obligatory color, there were free green T-shirts from the parade's sponsors.

Greg Swedberg of St. Charles, said this year's 32-degree temperature was a different experience than last year's unseasonably warm 80 degrees.

"I have my coffee mug, so it's fine," he said. "It's a little bit more like spring weather than last year, maybe a little cool."

His dog Nike, a 5-year-old greyhound, sported a green hat and green bandanna, plus a fleece coat to stay warm.

Tommy and Shari Piazza, both born and raised in St. Charles, said the parade is an annual tradition. This year, they came with their 2-year-old daughter Stella, who cozily snuggled in her pink folding chair along Main Street.

"It's part of being from St. Charles," Shari Piazza said. "Later, we're going to have corned beef and cabbage at The Beehive (Tavern & Grille in St. Charles)."

The parade's grand marshal was Rosie Martinez, an Irish immigrant who in 1998 helped establish McNally's Traditional Irish Pub in St. Charles. Martinez helped organize St. Charles' first St. Patrick's Day parade in 2000.

Besides being fun, the parade is good for local businesses, said Megan Hernandez, owner of Eliza Jane boutique and spa on Main Street.

"It brings good business, it brings people downtown," Hernandez said. "I watch it all from the window."

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