St. Patty's Day revelry abounds in Adrian
ADRIAN -- The chill in the air didn't stop Adrian's two rival Irish clans from participating in the traditional St. Patrick's Day parade, but by the time the parade was finished and watchers and walkers alike headed for the nearest pub, nobody on...
ADRIAN -- The chill in the air didn't stop Adrian's two rival Irish clans from participating in the traditional St. Patrick's Day parade, but by the time the parade was finished and watchers and walkers alike headed for the nearest pub, nobody on either side was quite certain who had won.
"I bet it was a tie," said Mike Metz cheerfully.
The Metz-Owens clan and the Egan clan have used the parade as a proving ground for years, and whichever group brings the most people to show their Irish pride wins.
This year, there wasn't a clear winner, but it didn't seem to matter much. Both groups gathered at Adrian Auto before the parade started, sporting a vast variety of serious, silly and bizarre St. Patrick's gear.
"Every year we bring something new," said Mike, who has participated in the parade with his sister, Mary Lursen, for 18 years.
Their mother was Irish, but being Irish is by no means a requirement to march in the parade.
"Anybody who wants to can," Lursen said.
Neither of the siblings was much fazed by St. Patrick's Day being on March 15 for the first time since 1940, a peculiarity of a church calendar with an extremely early Easter.
Catholic officials in many dioceses changed the date of St. Patrick's Day, so the patron of Ireland's celebration wouldn't take place during Holy Week.
No one in Adrian seemed confused about the date and even the non-Irish or "Irish by adoption," as Bev Metz, Mike's wife, calls herself, had a good time with the group.
Not all the marchers participated in the parade in previous years. It was Deronda McRea Hunter's first year.
"I've lived here 40 years," Hunter said with a grin. "I just didn't have the spirit before."
Cousins Braxton Vortherms, 7, and Brady Vortherms, 6, carried the Egan banner proudly. Other kids marching took just as much delight in tossing candy as the spectators took in picking up the treats.
People weren't the only ones marching. Several dogs decked out in green T-shirts joined the fun, including Clint Metz's dog, Trigger, who amiably sported a "luck o' the Irish" shirt.
Green was everywhere. People wore green tams, shamrock shorts -- usually over their jeans, green cowboy hats, shamrock necklaces, green hair, shamrock-shaped sunglasses and held Kelly-green balloons.
Tiny Gabby Vortherms, 2, wore a stove-pipe style sequined green hat bigger than she was.
Spectators got into the act, too, like Wyatte Waddell, 2, who wore a green shamrock necklace and watched the parade from the shoulders of Justin Metz, Mike's nephew.
"We're celebrating our heritage," said Doreen Vortherms, of the Egan clan.