News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, March 17, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Thousands of people filled the streets of downtown Augusta Saturday as floats, cars and even boats rolled through in the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade on Saturday.
"This is the best turnout for this parade that I have ever seen," said Darold Brog, who has been attending the parade for over 15 years.
People were decked head to toe in Irish attire.
"I got a bow tie. I've got suspenders," said Beverly Aldrich.
Aldrich has been attending the parade since the beginning.
"I just love it," she said."I just have a good time. I'm 82 years old and I still love it."
People young and old in all shades of green lined Broad Street Saturday to watch the parade. All kinds of floats, bands, trucks and cars rolled down the street passing out candy and beads.
The parade committee was happy with the turnout.
"There was a great showing," said John Brady, a committee member. "The parade was about two hours and it was sunny warm everyone had a good time. Saturday. Couldn't ask for better."
The parade has been a tradition in Brady's family for years.
"This parade actually started back in 1978," he said. "My grandma was actually one of the people who got this 'party started' as they put it. So it's something we've always done as a family and everyone else got involved as a community."
And the community was definitely involved this year.
"We probably had close to 150 entries this year," Brady said. "It was amazing."
Including the News 12 Green Machine driven by News 12's Sheli Muniz.
But green hats and beads were not the only green going around today.
Businesses were bringing in the green Saturday, both people and money.
"We look forward to it every year," said Felton Mitchell, owner of Silla Cafe. "It's one of the best days of the year."
He said his business was booming on Saturday and so were many others.
"Everybody downtown is happy [Saturday]," he said. "There is no reason for them not to be happy. If they're open today they should be happy today."
Everyone was also very excited about the turnout. They say it was much better than it has been in years past -- partly because it fell on a Saturday allowing more people to attend but also because of the great weather.