The sun came out on Saturday just in time to shine over the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hudson.
Despite celebrating the parade’s 10-year anniversary, this was a year of firsts.
Putting a spin on tradition, organizers chose Brenda O’Farrell as the parade’s Irishwoman of the Year rather than naming an Irishman of the Year.
Being bestowed with that honour prompted O’Farrell to ask herself some questions.
“The automatic question that came up was ‘Why me?'” she explained to Global News earlier this week. “So I decided to ignore that completely and go for another question and attempt to answer that one, which was, ‘What am I going to do?'”
WATCH: Hudson’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
What O’Farrell decided to do was to give back.
“I have used the occasion to launch what I’m calling the O’Farrell Wondrous Adventure Scholarship,” she said, adding that it was registered with the John Abbott College Foundation.
The $1,000 scholarship will be given out every year on the night of the Irishman or Irishwoman event to a young woman from the community.
O’Farrell marched in Saturday’s parade but leading the way as grand marshal was Global’s own Jamie Orchard.
“It was an amazing experience,” Orchard said.
“It’s been one of the best times of my life. They take such good care of you; the Hudson community is so warm and welcoming. I’ve just had an amazing, amazing time.”
What started out as an idea between friends over pints has grown into the third-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country.
For nine years, the event was volunteer-run, but this year, the city took over for the first time — and if the turnout was any indication, it was a grand success.
Upwards of 15,000 spectators lined the streets of Hudson to watch as the floats and marching bands went by.
“We have over 100 entries in our parade and almost nine marching bands,” said Jay de la Durantaye, chairman of the parade. “It’s a great day today.”