Whether called by their nickname, “union pipes,” or their proper name, Uillean pipes (pronounced ill-yin), the sounds of the traditional Irish instruments rang out loud and strong in Delhi on Saturday as the third annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade stepped off on Main Street.
In honor of one of Ireland’s patron saints, St. Patrick, uilleann pipes are commonly played in parades. The distinctive instruments share characteristics with the Scottish bagpipes, and offer an unmistakeable Celtic sound.
With March 17 about a week in the past, it may seem curious to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day now. But the Greater Delhi Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the Delaware National Bank of Delhi, plan a Delhi parade about a week after the holiday to ensure the presence of in-demand groups such as the Leatherstocking Pipe Band, the Schenectady Pipe Band and the Edward Maloney Memorial Pipe Band.
Before the parade began, booths were set up in the Delhi Village Square. Supporters of Relay for Life were selling hot chocolate, chili and fancy caramel apples to raise funds. Grand Marshall of the Parade, Robert Mable, had ordered almost 200 bright green shamrock balloons, to be handed out free. Residents and visitors were sporting scally Irish caps, derby and bowler hats, and green apparel was on display among many of the spectators.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Department and Delhi Police began the procession, leading a vibrant and rich pageant in celebration of St. Patrick. Music from the Leatherstocking Pipe Band resounded throughout the village as spectators cheered in appreciation. Interspersed with the musical groups were floats presented by community organizations such as the Girl Scouts, the Delhi Community Pool and Habitat for Humanity, as well as businesses such as the Shire Pub, Delaware National Bank of Delhi and Maple Shade Farm. Representatives of the armed forces, as well as local law enforcement and fire departments, rounded out the lineup, and a group of young dancers from the Cardio Club presented a hip-hop dance wearing green tutus.
Awards were presented, as follows:
First place, Edward Maloney Memorial Pipe band; second place, Schenectady Pipe band.
First place, Delaware Academy Varsity Club; second place, Heart of the Catskills
First place, Cardio Club; second place, Students Against Destructive Decisions
First place, Delhi Fire Department; second place, Meridale Fire Department.