Vankleek Hill’s virtual Wee Irish Fest Parade was a success, with dozens of people sharing photos and videos of both past St. Patrick’s Days and their own 2021 celebrations at home.

Excellent Events again hosted again this year’s Wee Irish Fest, which ran as a two-day festival on the group’s Facebook page.

“I think it went great, as far as virtual goes,” said Samme Putzel, organizer of the online parade. “We had people submitting pictures, people participated – it wasn’t super busy, but at least we had a good festival and it came off well.”

Putzel noted the highlight of the parade was a video done by Neil Emberg and Ashley MacLeod McRae, of the Celtic band Hadrian’s Wall. Emberg put together a six-minute clip dedicated to Vankleek Hill, from the duo’s St. Patrick’s Day performance at the Heart and Crown in Ottawa. You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Wendy Nixon-Barton, who posted more than 60 photos for the event on her own Facebook page, also received mention from Putzel for her online contributions to the festival.

While Excellent Events wanted to hold the parade on Main Street as in past years, Putzel said organizers felt a virtual parade would be a safer choice, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing. She is optimistic the parade will be able to return to Vankleek Hill in 2022.

Wendy Nixon-Barton shared more than 60 photos of past St. Patrick’s Days with this year’s virtual Wee Irish Fest, including this shot with Heather Connors.