Saint Patrick’s Day festivities kicked off Saturday with the Annual Shamrock Run. Thousands of runners took to the streets in the Old First Ward.
Participants lucked out with the weather this year. Recently, the 8k race has been cold and snowy. But, organizers said this is one of the biggest turnouts ever thanks to the warmer temperatures and dry conditions. “We had 20 inches of snow last year. It was probably 16-17 degrees,” said volunteer, Mike Malaney. “We still had a lot of people but it was a tough winter to train and so we had a lot less runners. But, again, I think this is one of the biggest we've ever had.”
“It's just nice to come out with friend, you see people you know along the course. Everybody is just so proud to be a part of this and everybody's Irish for the day,” said runner, Lesley Dilorenzo.
Organizers said roughly 5000 ran in Saturday’s race. Most wore green to show their St. Patty’s pride.