Cold can’t freeze St. Patty’s Day fun


Paul Stokman serenades local Honor Guard members with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” to kick off the St. Patrick's Day parade, Saturday.

New to the parade this year, The Osman Shrine Thunderbirds, known as the Tin Lizzeys.

Hats, gloves, boots and snow pants were as common along the parade route as the traditional green Saturday, March 11, during Maple Lake’s 40th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Temperatures hung about in the low 20s, which was a far cry from last year’s 60-degree weather, and though crowds were down some, that didn’t stop organizers from calling the day a tremendous success.
“Whenever I talked to people along the route, they would say ‘we just love this parade,’” parade organizer Irene Hudek said.
For some the cold weather inspired them to be creative, like the man who watched the procession from a heated fish house in the Legion parking lot.
Janele Werle of Becker was so bundled in green blankets and snow gear, just the top portion of her face was visible as she watched the parade pass by. She attends the festivities every year and wasn’t about to let the cold keep her away, she said.
While numbers were down spectator wise, the number of parade entrants hit a record high 127 units. Communities, businesses and clubs throughout Minnesota were represented, and they weren’t stingy on the candy. Tykes didn’t let their layers of clothing hinder their treat gathering in the least, and most came away with a heavy bag, or hat full.

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