Tradition leads St. Patrick's Day

VIDEO: Watch highlights from the 2007 St. Patrick's Day Parade. [1 min. 30 sec.]

Amid the sea of shamrocks and green beads were hundreds of smiling faces watching the annual St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday.

"It's like a Mardi Gras, in a sense," Anissa Myers said as she watched parade-goers scoop up strands of beads thrown from the floats onto Broad Street in Augusta.

Attending the parade is a family tradition for Dina McDaniel, of Beech Island.

"I used to come out here with my children when they were growing up," she said. This year, Ms. McDaniel brought her grandchildren, Victoria, 2, and James, 3.

"I had my grandkids this weekend and wanted to come out. We tried to find something new for them to enjoy," she said.

For Chris West, of Augusta, the parade offered an opportunity to do something fun and different.

His daughter, Allie, 7, said the day is also about recognizing her heritage.

"I like to celebrate it because my ancestors are from Ireland," she said.

The parade featured several Irish families, along with community organizations, radio stations, marching bands and the Augusta Spartans football team, many of whom were throwing out candy and beads among other small tokens.

The spectator favorite, however, seemed to be the Shrine clubs, who were driving go-carts and mini-vehicles. As they came through, they gave those who lined the street high-fives and several honks while the spectators returned their "hellos" with loud claps and yells.

One thing the parade didn't include was a rainbow, which many of the children were counting on.

The lore of the leprechaun's pot of gold at the end of rainbow had the younger crowd set on seeing riches.

"I hope a rainbow comes out," said Tykease Holston, 5, of Beech Island. "I like what you can get out of the rainbow, the gold."

Anna Rascon, 7, of Augusta, agreed.

"If I can find gold, it'll make this day perfect."

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.