Utahns celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early on Saturday with the 35th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which ended with an Irish party.
The parade and celebration was put on by the Hibernian Society of Utah. The parade has grown since it began in 1978, when a group of friends decided Salt Lake City was lacking in the St. Pat's Parade department.
Parade co-founder John Welsh said the parade was begun despite a lack of experience.
“One of the guys comes up to me and says, ‘I got to see all three of you guys.’ So I said ‘what's up?’ And he said, 'Well, I got good news, I got bad news,’ and I said, ‘well tell me the good news’ and he says ‘we're going to have a parade. I went to the city commission, and we got approved.’ And I said ‘what's the bad news?’ and he said, ‘none of us have ever put on a parade before.’”
The lack of experience didn’t stop them—that first parade featured 40 floats and five thousand spectators. Saturday’s parade had nearly 130 floats and more than 10,000 spectators.