Highlights from the 2013 Irish Festival

Despite temperatures 50 degrees below what visitors to Clare enjoyed the previous year, winter-weary spectators lined Clare’s streets for outdoor events at Clare’s annual Irish Festival, the first sign of spring in mid-Michigan, last weekend.

Record numbers participated in the 5K/10K run and 2 Mile Walk while hundreds watched the 9 a.m. start.

More lined the streets Saturday morning for the annual Bed Races and the Kid’s Fun Run and it was standing room only for the hour long Irish Parade, although the attire was much different with unusually cold temperatures and occasional snowflurries to contend with.

Indoor events were also very well attended this year. There were a record number of booths at the annual Irish Festival Craft Show with crafters and venders spilling over into additional Primary and Middle School hallways.

Cold weather didn’t stop the troop of Leprechauns who appeared at Witbeck’s to be judged for creativity in their costumes.

Earlier, there was a large crowd and a record number at all of the events leading up to Saturdays fun. The Business After Hours and Big Brothers/Big Sisters Art Auction at the Doherty, Best Frame Doubles and more at Gateway Lanes, the Irish Recipe Contest and Gateway Band Concert at the Clare High School all attracted large crowds.

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