It would be an understatement to say there was a brisk Irish breeze in the air Friday afternoon at the St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown.

A blustery snow squall arrived at 5 p.m., just as the parade was set to begin. Fortunately for everyone, the snow ended just as quickly as it began, but a stout northern wind around 20 mph continued to blow. Participants and onlookers bundled in winter coats, scarves and gloves.

The Boy Scouts led the parade, followed by North Platte Catholic Schools and the St. Pat’s boys’ basketball team, celebrating their recent journey all the way to state finals.

Habitat for Humanity and the Chamber hostesses were followed by Scott Abstract, donned in green attire, silly headbands, clover sunglasses and shamrock balloons.

Scott Abstract

The Shriners showed off their four-wheeler skills at the intersection of Dewey and Fourth, performing figure eights and other maneuvers.

Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, Alexandra Thompson, kept warm under a shamrock blanket and the Chamber Ambassadors doled out candy to excited children lining the street.

The mascot of the North Platte Plainsmen baseball team waved at onlookers, followed by Mid-Plains Community College in an old fire truck and then, the college rodeo team.

The North Platte Plainsmen

Rock’N Paws brought therapy dogs, who humbly posed for a few pictures.

Rockin’ Paws therapy dogs.

Several other organizations were represented during the parade, which lasted just shy of 15 minutes.

Green candies, sweet tarts, beads, keychain charms and coins were tossed from vehicles, floats and people in the parade, and children rushed to gather their St. Patrick’s Day bounty.

As soon as the parade ended, spectators scattered to find warmth in local stores or in their vehicles.

Photos by Kat Tedder. Click on images for larger view.

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