Thousands attend St. Patrick's Day parade in Wichita

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WICHITA, Kan. -- For eight years, business owners have been putting on a parade in the downtown Wichita Delano district for St. Patrick's Day.

Nancy Lawrence, President of Historic Delano Inc., has planned each parade for all of those eight years; Saturday's festivities brought more people than Lawrence thought. "Its an awesome day, the weather turned out beautifully, we had tons of people down here," she said, "I would suspect we had at least 10,000 people watching this parade and at least 2,000 to 3,000 people involved in the parade"

The parade route followed the Arkansas River on McLean Blvd from Maple St. to Douglas and then entered Delano. The total route was around 10 blocks long. Many people arrived early to the parade, securing a good seat for the hour long celebration.

For the businesses of Delano, this event brought in customers. "That's your economic development, bringing people downtown, letting them shop downtown, let them have fun downtown, its a family day," said long time Delano developer Mary Lou Rivers.

That idea of a family day brought out many to celebrate together. Four generations of one family sat at the end of the parade route, watching all the acts and people walk by. Kelly Blades is in the middle of that four generations and says this parade brought them together; "it's a family tradition for us and this is our fifth [St. Patrick's Day Parade at Delano], we always meet up here."

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