Metro-East News

Bagpipes and beads: Belleville St. Pat’s Day parade is sea of green

The bagpipers had passed, the firetrucks had sounded and bands were coming, but the children on West Main Street had one thing on their minds.

“Candy-candy-candy,” 9-year-old Kinslie Kehl chanted to the floats and others in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade near Public Square in Belleville.

Her sister Kylie Kehl, 10, was more sedate about the amount of sugar headed their way, but only because her braces prevent her from eating just anything.

“Yeah, we’ll (have a bag full) but I don’t eat a lot,” she said.

The girls and their friend Skylar Shanks, 9, were a little disappointed with any beads that came flying their way. “We’re here for the candy,” Skylar said.

The parade started on a more somber note, with bagpipers pausing at the memorial at Public Square to play “Amazing Grace.” Drummers joined in for the second verse as parade-goers shifted their attention from the parade route, but a lone piper finished the song to great applause and whistles.

The kilt-clad Highlanders then moved on with marching orders to play the “Street Beat.”

Several streets in downtown Belleville were to remain closed on Saturday until 1 a.m. Sunday.

That is because of the after-parade festivities sponsored by Belleville Main Street Committee, Big Daddy’s 618 and Seven Restaurant and Lounge.