Killarney paints the town green with annual parade

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 17, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; No, it wasn’t green aliens who came down and took over Main Street on Monday, it was just the Krewe of Killarney and St. Patrick’s Day parade-goers.

Before the parade began, parade-goers gathered in front of Main Street Market and St. Mary Basilica with green spray-painted hair, green boas, dogs with green bows, four-leaf clovers painted on faces, Radio Flyers decorated in St. Patrick’s Day gear and so much more.

The Rev. Mike O’Brien, Irish by birth and pastor of Assumption Catholic Church, led the Krewe of Killarney as St. Patrick.

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As the bagpipes began to play an Irish tune by Mississippi State champion bagpiper Mery Rose Worthingon of Vicksburg, the Krewe of Killarney began to march down the street.

Green beads, candy and green doubloons with four-leaf clovers imprinted on them were thrown to the parade-goers who walked on the sidewalks along with the krewe.

Plenty of children also took part in the parade &045; although they were just a bit fuzzy on the original meaning of the holiday.

&uot;Celebrating our families,&uot; said 7-year-old Amelia Conn when asked what St. Patrick’s Day means to her.

&uot;It’s a day the Irish and other people celebrate,&uot; was 7-year-old Brianna Wright’s response.

&uot;A day of families to celebrate when Saint Patrick died,&uot; said 8-year-old Chamberlain Graves.

For 10-year-old Kathryn Dahlander who was visiting from Dallas, the Krewe of Killarney’s annual bash was her first St. Patrick’s Day parade.

&uot;Saint Patrick was a very special person. I know it’s his birthday,&uot; Dahlander said.

Although it isn’t St. Patrick’s birthday, it is a celebration of the patron saint of Ireland on his feast day.

As the parade ended at the bluff, O’Brien read a proclamation claiming evil spirits to be gone from Natchez and then threw a &uot;snake&uot; into the Mississippi River.

Tommy O’Beirne led a St. Patrick’s Day sing-a-long and Worthington played &uot;Amazing Grace&uot; on the bagpipes and was accompanied by drummers William Mitchell and Darryl Bassett, both of Natchez.