By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) – It’s touted as the largest Irish celebration west of the Mississippi. The annual Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade brought a lot of green downtown, despite the gray weather.

PHOTO GALLERY: St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The 55th annual event filled streets from Union Station to 27th Street in lower downtown Saturday morning. Hundreds of families watched as more than 10,000 marchers entertained crowds along the route.

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“Usually I look forward to seeing a lot of cool cars,” Varek Vanaelstyn, one of the young parade-goers, told CBS4.

This year’s theme was “Emerald Celebration,” featuring traditional Irish music and dancers, floats of all kinds, horses, first-responders in police cars and fire engines, and even a few Star Wars storm troopers.

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“This is just a fun family tradition,” Doug Grosshans said of bringing his family to the parade. “It’s something to enjoy the community with and see everybody that comes by.”

Bellco, one of Colorado’s largest financial institutions, celebrated its 12th year as the presenting sponsor.

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“We thank the parade organizers on behalf of our employees and more than 250,000 members for their hard work in creating this exciting tradition,” John Rivera, Bellco senior vice president and chief retailer said.

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Cooler weather mixed a little grey in with all the green, but some parade-goers said luck was on their side because it wasn’t snowing.

“It’s a fun day to have love with your family,” Vanaelstyn said.

Additional Resources

For more information on the parade, visit

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.


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