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Chilly weather doesn't dampen spirit of Westmont's St. Paddy's Festival

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 4:00 p.m. CDT
Throngs of Irish dancers marched and rode on floats during the first St. Paddy's Day Fest Parade Saturday morning through downtown Westmont.

WESTMONT — The Westmont community showed off its Irish side this weekend at the first annual Holy Trinity St. Paddy's Day Festival, with crowds donning green attire in the spirit of the St. Patrick's Day holiday.

The festival was held Friday evening and all-day Saturday at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Westmont. Despite the cold and rainy weather, organizers said they were very pleased with the event.

"The turnout for some of the events was not as good as we thought, and a lot of that had to do with the weather," said Keith Sellers, one of the organizers. "But those that did come out seemed very happy, and they are already talking about next year."

One of the highlights of the event was the St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraiser, which featured participants getting their heads shaved to raise money for childhood cancer research. Sellers said they had a goal of raising $2,500, and the fundraiser far exceeded that with $7,775.

Other highlights included live music and Irish dancing on Friday night and throughout the day on Saturday, both of which Sellers said went over very well with the crowds.

In fact, he said the food, beer, concession and souvenir sales all were solid, and would have been much better had it been warmer. There were heated tents, which some people were unaware of, and Sellers said they will look to have more heaters next year.

"Our feedback was great on almost every aspect, it just came down to the weather keeping the bigger crowds away," he said. "The weather is a challenge we are going to have to face in the future as we look to make this an annual event."

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