Crowd green with enjoyment

St. Patrick's Day parade

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Clayton Rundgren, 11, and ten-year-old Darla Park, of Athol, study the hind end of a horse painted green Saturday as Blayre Rundgren, 14, looks up Sherman Avenue for oncoming attractions during the St. Patrick's Day parade in Coeur d'Alene.

COEUR d'ALENE - Kurt Krajic was in disguise on Saturday afternoon.

Dressed as a can of Guinness stout, he was frothy, amber-brown and brewed in Dublin. Pulling his 2-year-old daughter, Ruby, in a wagon behind him, Krajic took part in the Coeur d'Alene St. Patrick's Day parade, an annual March celebration that rolled down Sherman Avenue on Saturday afternoon.

"I do like Guinness, and I like St. Paddy's Day, so I just came up with the idea," said Krajic, who lives in Coeur d'Alene.

His buddy, Heath Wiltse of Coeur d'Alene, dressed in bright Irish green, walked alongside him.

"We've done every single one," Wiltse said. "Five, six years now."

Hundreds of spectators lined the route as the parade went by. They watched horses clip-clop on the pavement, sirens flash, candy-throwers toss candy and bagpipers bagpipe.

It was all very festive, and all very Irish - even though St. Patrick's Day isn't officially until Thursday.

"Parades are always good. We enjoy it," said Jennifer Plummer of Coeur d'Alene. "(This parade) is smaller than most, but it's still fun, and it shows good spirit."

Jennifer enjoyed the procession alongside her husband, Jody, and their 3-year-old son, Jace.

"This one this year was probably one of the better ones, I think, for St. Patty's Day," Jody said. "It's just happy. St. Paddy's Day Parade is the happiest one."

Saturday's event would've made old St. Pat proud. The Coeur d'Alene Firefighter Pipes and Drums played some merry tunes, the grand marshals rode in a classic Mercedes Benz, and even the Sons of Norway made an appearance - claiming Leif Ericson is part Irish, of course.

A hairy herd of llamas trotted down the street, hot rods rumbled past and the floats were dressed to the nines. The Kootenai County Saddle Club and the Snake Pit roller derby gals were on hand, too. There was even a gang of BMX riders from Cherry Hill.

The loudest attraction was probably North Idaho Maritime's tugboat, the "St. Patrick." With a leprechaun riding in the stern, the tug blared music as she floated past.

Sue and Tom Jones of Worley strolled with their 4-month-old Great Dane, Cisco. He was big, black and white, and sported a green outfit.

"We walked in the parade with the (Coeur d'Alene) Dog Fanciers. It was wonderful. It was a lot of fun," said Sue Jones, of Worley. "It was neat to see all the people out enjoying it, and the weather held up, and it's been a really nice day."

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