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No Bill Murray, but Elmhurst parade still a hit

Published: Monday, March 11, 2013 5:44 p.m. CDT
(Sarah Minor -
Patrick, 7, and Maggie Berigan, 6, wait for candy to be thrown from floats during Elmhurst's St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 9.

ELMHURST — Bill Murray did not make a personal appearance Saturday during Elmhurst's 17th-annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, despite the best efforts of the Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra.

"He missed a great party," said Parade Chairman Jim O'Connor.

The EAO built the "largest drum in the world" in honor of Murray, who inspired their comedic parade entry.

The group hoped that news of their giant percussion instrument would catch his attention and help him hear their invitation to lead them.

The group hit one snag with the 600-pound drum about two blocks into the parade — one of the rubber tires on its cart blew out, said EAO member Rich Reichert.

The group had spares, and like a goofily-dressed pit crew, members hoisted a corner of the cart and quickly replaced the tire before catching back up with the parade.

O'Connor said there were a total of 133 parade entries, and despite cold temperatures and snow lingering on the ground, he described the turnout as "very, very good."

Reichert said the EAO plans to keep the drum to use it in the future, but it also will devise a new idea to reach Murray next year.

"We're going to have to come up with something better," he said. "I won't say bigger. I think we've used up as much storage space as we can."

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