Milton brims with spirit of the Irish
Move over John Milton and English poetry. For at least a day, March 10, Irish eyes, and everyone else's were smiling all over Milton.
A brilliant sun was shining as the inaugural Lucky Leprechaun 5K began, sending a steady stream of mostly green runners down Federal and Union streets and throughout the town to kick off the day's events. Sponsored by the Milton Chamber of Commerce, the event drew hundreds of runners from across the Cape Region and beyond.
By 2 p.m, hundreds were lining the sidewalks as a pair of leprechauns led off the St. Patrick's Day Parade, putting on display the most animated procession Milton has seen in many a year. Politicians waved from convertibles or strolled spritely along the streets, along with community organizations such as the farmers market and a variety of local businesses, not to mention princesses on horseback and bagpipers from the Cape-Atlantic Police and Fire Irish Pipe Brigade from New Jersey.
Hula-hoop guy TJ Schwalm flung his hoop high in the air, but stealing the show – and top prize for floats – was the highway dancer, Seth Bratten, who delighted the crowds and the judges with his wild gyrations.
The celebration seemed to confirm a new day has arrived in Milton. The town's recent clean audit showed outgoing Mayor Cliff Newlands brought much-needed order to the town's finances, and incoming Mayor Marion Jones promises clarity and transparency going forward.
Just last week came the news that the long-dark Milton Theatre will see new life, as a local couple stepped forward to purchase the historic building, promising to reopen it as a community theater that will once again draw audiences downtown.
These efforts signal Milton is moving in a positive direction, regaining a solid footing. The parade, sponsored by Irish Eyes in Milton, was a tip of the hat, proving the town brims with the skills, creativity and enthusiasm to become the inland destination for Cape Region visitors.