- The Washington Times - Monday, March 17, 2008

Thousands of people lined Constitution Avenue in Northwest yesterday for the District’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where flags representing the Emerald Isle and elsewhere waved, girls in brightly colored skirts danced an Irish jig and children scrambled for treats tossed from floats.

Green hats topped many a head, and warm clothing fended off the 40-degree temperatures and 27 mph winds.

Among the spectators were Peggy Dee and brother John Dee of Hyattsville. “We come every year,” Miss Dee said. “I march every year in the first of the parade. It’s especially nice this year.”

Miss Dee was standing at Seventh Street Northwest, where the parade started at noon. She had marched to the end of the parade route, at 17th Street Northwest, then returned to the start about an hour later to join her family.

The Dees smiled as the green-and-gold Dubliners passed, throwing candy to children — and a few adults.

Next came two white horses pulling a carriage with a sign, “Murphys a Grand Irish Pub D.C. Alexandria.”

Men in costume pedaling high-wheel bicycles followed. Then came brown Irish terriers tugging at their leashes.

“I marched in the very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said Miss Dee, recalling 1969 when the celebration began at Dupont Circle on Massachusetts Avenue Northwest and ended at Sheridan Circle and the Irish Embassy.

Enthusiastic boys and girls grabbed green beads tossed by those aboard the Fade Irish Pub float.

The rhythm of music sounded from floats, trucks and cars.

The Chinese Falun Gong, decorated in green and yellow, marched down the street clashing cymbals and beating drums.

“I’m glad to see that,” said Miss Dee, explaining that the St. Patrick’s Day celebration has attracted a growing number of nationalities over the years.

Also making its way along the route was a float of Fraternity Folklorica Bolivia.

A truck pulled a small wooden house along Constitution Avenue bearing the sign “God Bless our Irish American Heritage.”

A pale green 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was followed by 12 low-slung Pontiac convertibles.

Riding in an open convertible was Sarah Kramm of Potomac, Miss Maryland Teen United States 2007.

She was followed by members of the Hunt School of Irish Dance, Maple School of Irish Dance, Georgetown Irish America Dance Team, Washington Showstoppers Community Band, Hurley School of Irish Dance and Dudney School of Irish Dance.

The grand marshal this year was Mark H. Tuohey, 60, former chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, an adviser of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland and a legal adviser to the Irish attorney general.

“They are all good,” Miss Dee said of the lineup.

She said the parade would have pleased her parents, who migrated from Kerry County in 1920 and raised their daughter in Northeast, next to Catholic University. She and her brother have lived 40 years in Hyattsville.

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