Saturday, March 16, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Knights with swords, helmets and shields marched down Water Street in Henderson on Saturday, along with a gorilla carrying a man in a cage and miniature cars with full-grown men stuffed in the driver’s seats.
It was the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and the column of people stretched up Water Street and swung around to travel parallel with Lake Mead Boulevard.
Children stood wide-eyed and smiling as strange clowns on motorized tricycles and back-flipping cheerleaders traveled down the road. The parade included classic cars and trucks, and of course, many people dressed from head to toe in green.
Standing alongside the legion of children with mouths agape was 66-year-old David Foster.
“There’s a lot of green in the desert today,” he said, in a thick, Irish accent.
No, he wasn’t there just because he’s Irish. He likes the parade because it’s a great way to break up the day. He even called his friends and tried to get them to enjoy the weekend of festivities with him, but there were no takers.
He likes that people embrace the Irish tradition, but mostly, he said, it’s about having fun.
“Everybody is enjoying themselves today,” Foster said. “I think everybody has a little bit of Irish in them."
He’ll be back tomorrow for the last day of the festivities.
One little boy sat safely on his father’s hip, pointing to the parade and offering his lollipop to passers-by.
“We’re loving the cheerleaders and the cars,” said the boy’s father, Mark Fitzgerald. “The parade’s a great place to bring kids.”
The sidewalks were packed with people and parking was difficult. Local watering holes were doling out drinks to thirsty parade-watchers.
Maricela Garcia said the inconvenience is worth it to get her kids outside.
“It’s something they can come and enjoy because there aren’t a lot of family things in Las Vegas,” she said.
Garcia had come to the parade from Las Vegas with her husband and two children.
She said they attend the parade sporadically but chose this year because it was a good event the whole family could enjoy.
There will be more festivities Sunday, including a carnival from noon to 9 p.m.