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Adrian celebrates St. Patrick's Day

Aaron Hagen/Daily Globe Karsen Leighty, 2, rides his bike in the St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday in Adrian.1 / 3
Aarong Hagen/Daily Globe Two small children hitch a ride during Saturday's St. Patrick's Day parade in Adrian.2 / 3
Aaron Hagen/Daily Globe Doreen Vorthirms poses with her trophy and travelling hat she was awarded for having the most family members in the St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday in Adrian.3 / 3

ADRIAN -- Doreen Vortherms was all smiles after the St. Patrick's Day parade.

In fact, it was her family who claimed the title in the annual contest between her Egan clan and the Metz clan.

With the win -- which meant her family has the most participants -- Vortherms was awarded a trophy and a travelling green hat.

"This is a nice hat, isn't it?" Vorthirms asked.

Doreen's daughter, Cindy, has been in charge of the Adrian parade for the past five or six years.

"I think this is the 28th year," she said. "It started back in the 70s.

"There used to be a large group of Egan clan in town. My mother, Doreen, is 80 years old and she's one of the last Egans around. With the Metz clan and the Egan clan, we kind of have this competition going. We just kind of keep doing it every year."

And on Saturday, the weather was as good as it's ever been with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s.

"It's beautiful," Cindy said. "I couldn't believe it. Everybody was so surprised because we've been out here in the rain and the snow and everything. This is great."

The Egan clan -- including Cindy and Doreen -- and the Metz clan started the St. Patrick's Day parade on the north side of Adrian at Adrian Auto and marched a few blocks toward the Sports Page Bar.

Small children walked or rode on bicycles, while others handed out candy to people who lined the street to watch the parade.

At the end of the line, the two clans, who were all dressed in green, gathered.

"It's really great," Doreen said. "We've been friends of Metzes for year."

The official count was attempted, but no numbers were actually figured.

"This year, we had the largest crowd, or they conceded, we're not sure," Cindy said. "There's a trophy and a travelling hat."

Doreen was handed the trophy and the hat and posed for photos.

"Metzes usually win," she said. "They can come from close. Ours are all far away."

Since St. Patrick's Day landed on a Saturday, the Egan clan had its traditional family reunion.

"We had a family reunion today, and we had 65 or 70 people," Cindy said. "Most of the Metzes live in town, so we can only beat them when it's on a Saturday. We always do it on St. Patrick's Day at 5 p.m. Whether it's rain, shine or a snowstorm."

The family reunion involves other activities besides the parade.

"We have everybody down and we have a big pot luck," Cindy said. "We had crafts for the kids. We started getting ready for the parade. We started with the balloons. We usually have helium, but apparently there is a helium shortage, so we couldn't find helium anywhere. So we blew the balloons up and tied them."

For the family, being able to come together is important.

"One of the biggest things is mom is the last of her generation," Cindy said. "We've been trying to keep it going and let the little kids get to know each other so it doesn't die out and everybody is ready to continue it."

Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen can be reached at 376-7323.