The community of Hudson is gearing up for its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will be held on Saturday, March 16.
What started out 10 years ago, with some 35 entries, has grown into what organizers say is the third largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country.
It was three friends — Jim Beauchamp, Jason Allan and Andrew Dumas — who came up with the idea while discussing Montreal’s parade over pints in a local pub.
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With much work, the idea came to fruition and now, 10 years later, the parade, as well as the events leading up to the big day, have grown in popularity.
One of those events is the Grand Marshal’s Roast and Toast.
It was held Saturday night at the Whitlock Golf and Country Club in Hudson. This year’s “roastee” was none other than Global’s very own senior anchor Jamie Orchard.
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Orchard admitted part of her was a tad apprehensive heading into the soiree.
“I’m a little nervous,” she said. “They’re about to roast me and I hear that I am going to get ripped to shreds.”
The other part of her, however, was looking forward to the laughs.
Rob Dumas, an executive committee member for the Hudson parade, had reassuring words for Orchard.
“It’s all good-natured ribbing obviously,” he said. “It lends a little bit to the whole aspect of poking fun, having a good time and general festiveness.”
Those waiting for their turn to tease Orchard included family, friends and Global News colleagues Kim Sullivan and Laura Casella.
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All trepidation aside, Orchard said she was thrilled to be Grand Marshal.
“You attend functions, everybody spoils you rotten because you’re the Grand Marshal and it’s a great title,” she said.
“But the best part of it, is you lead the parade, you set the pace and I think in some ways, the responsibility is to set the tone.”
Orchard has been attending the Hudson parade for several years and for her, what sets it apart from the rest, is a feeling of togetherness.
“In Hudson, there’s that sense of community. There’s that sense of fun,” she said.
As for the actual roasting, a good time was had by all.