Thousands line highway for Erin's St. Patrick's Day Parade

The Town of Erin may be small with a population of around 4,500, but its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is anything but.

It's one of the biggest St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the state, drawing crowds nearly twice the size of the town.

The town always holds the parade on the actual holiday. Given this year's fell on a Saturday, it brought huge crowds and plenty of Irish spirit.

"I love St. Pattie's Day. I never miss this," said Patricia Vaughan-Sykes of Waukesha.

On Saturday morning, thousands lined Highway K to be part of the long-standing tradition.

"There's definitely rowdy parts of the parade and calmer parts of the parade," explained Shannon Lutz of Erin.

A sea of green cheered on a long row of leprechauns, floats, tractors, horses and even camels. Lutz attended for the 14th straight year.

"Got the music, the partying people, throwing the beads, drinking a little," Lutz said.

Given that the parade marches three miles, the Washington County Sheriff's Department was out in full force to block and guide traffic. Deputies also kept an eye out for those who had too much to drink. Lutz said she's never seen a crowd like this here.

"During the week there's only a couple hundred, the weekend, probably 5-10 thousand," Lutz said.

"It was like a traffic jam down here when we came," said Ayden Trisco.

Despite a slow ride into the middle of the parade route, it was well worth Trisco's time to show off his Irish pride.

"I have an Irish hat, a bow tie, a Packers sweatshirt," he said.

Whether it's part of their heritage or they're in attendance to be part of the fun, Vaughan-Sykes said everyone was welcome.

"Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day," she said.

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