It's been over a week since the festivities of the Morris County St. Patrick's Day Parade have passed. The rains are gone, as is much of the snow that lined the route. It takes a lot to cancel an annual event in which the planning for its successor starts nearly the day after it ends. And such was the case with the 2015 parade. The rain, hard at times, was enough to drive most of the spectators into the bars and off of the streets. But still the beat went on.
For the fourth year in a row, I was fortunate enough to tag along with the Trend Motors VW gang. They've been a big sponsor of the parade for over 15 years and provide the cars for the dignitaries to ride in. This year however, the tops never dropped on the Beetles and the Eos.
As anticipated, the parade was a success. But not the type that can be measured in attendance alone. That. clearly, was significantly underwhelming. However, it's the smiles on the spectators' faces as the pipes marched by that can be seen as a win. It was the dedication of the people, both participants and watchers, that really made the day triumphant. Umbrellas abounded, but for some, standing open in the rain didn't faze them. No one was melting.
As always, Trend Motors brought the party. They had more than six new Volkswagens, including the freshened 2015 Jetta and the all-new 2015 VW Golf, as well as their Sprinter Parts van and a flatbed tow truck for the DJ, Rock the House Entertainment. Usually the kids ride on the flatbed and wave at the people, but given the weather, an executive decision was made to put the kids in the Golf on the flatbed. So, no, it wasn't a typical broken-down brand-new VW being towed already. Got all that?
The Morris County Sheriff's Office was another group that had a strong presence. The department brought many vehicles from their specialized units, including a very impressive Criminal Investigation Section mobile command unit and a dedicated bomb squad truck. The Honor Guard was most impressive though. The men and women of the Sheriff's Office marched in unison along the entire parade route without stopping once to wipe the water from their faces, their focus not unbridled.
At the end of the parade, I was soaked and ready for a hot cup of coffee. But I was satisfied. Not only because (and I say this often) an overcast sky is the photographer's best friend, but because it was very apparent that the people partaking in the parade didn't let the weather affect their mood. They were smiling from start to finish, showing the spectators a great time, regardless of Mother Nature's intentions. To me, it's that commitment to the cause that makes this so event successful, and I see that continuing for years to come.
Check out the entire gallery HERE for all the high resolution images from the event!