St. Patty's Day, Texoma Style

As pints of Guinness flowed freely, a see of green all around them, and a chance to dance an Irish jig with a leprechaun, thousands came out to celebrate St. Patty's Day the Texoma way, with the Annual St. Patrick's Day Street Festival in Downtown Wichita Falls.

"I think the Irish-American spirit is getting out with your family and friends and just enjoying life," said Danny Ahern, owner of The Iron Horse Pub in Wichita Falls, "and that's what us Irish do very well. We love life and like to share that with anyone we can."

Irish by birth, Danny Ahern started the Street Festival almost 10 years ago.

"Every single year, it's just getting bigger and bigger, and the entertainment is getting bigger," explained Ahern, "this event itself has got it's own spirit now, and it's St. patty's Day, biggest event in the world."

With the help of Wichita Falls Downtown Proud and other area sponsors, the festival doesn't just turn Downtown green. It also helps raise some green.

"This is one of our main fundraisers," said Cynthia Laney, Executive Director of Downtown Proud, "it helps us sustain our organization and grow our programs."

With live bands performing on stage, flash mobs forming in the streets, and plenty of little leprechauns bouncing around, this year's festival attracted more people and vendors than ever before.

"We had to turn away vendors this year because everybody wants to be a part of this and they want to be Downtown," said Laney, "They've seen the success of our events and organization, so it has just been phenomenal."

And with the luck of the Irish on their side, organizers said they'll continue growing this Texoma tradition for years to come.

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