Murphys St. Patricks Day parade draws thousands, raises money for local Boys & Girls Clubs

Saying “thank you” once is one thing. But saying it for 35 years in a row is quite another.

That’s exactly what Cornelius-based Murphy’s Furniture did — again — March 16, as its owners thanked their customers by putting on yet another St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The event, which started and finished at Hare Field, drew 45 entries all decked out in green, as well as an estimated spectator crowd of 10,000. From strollers to canines and including 4-H groups and Boy Scouts, the parade was a big hit.

“We’ve been doing this for 35 years to show our appreciation for all our customers from around Washington County,” said Kathy Murphy, co-owner of the store located on the western border of Hillsboro off Highway 8. “How many places can you think of that you can get 10,000 of your closest friends together?”

Indeed, everyone was Irish last Saturday as the parade — full of shamrocks, leprechauns and the occasional pint of grog — wound its way through the city.

At Hillsboro’s Civic Center Plaza, about 150 folks enjoyed a corned beef and cabbage feed, courtesy of Sports Look. Hot dogs were available for those of a less Irish culinary persuasion, Murphy added.

The Hillsboro Fire Department, Hillsboro Towing, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office mounted patrol and motorcycle officers from the Hillsboro and Beaverton police departments helped out.

“We couldn’t do this alone,” said Murphy. “I went around and shook hands with all the pooper scoopers.”

Students from Moore Dance Studio of Hillsboro provided Irish dancing demonstrations for more than an hour, and an “honored citizens tent” at Second and Main streets — chaperoned by the Glencoe High School Key Club — allowed elderly parade-goers to watch the action from chairs under a canopy.

Besides being a whole lot of fun, Murphy said, the event raised $1,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hillsboro, Cornelius and Forest Grove.

“We’re not super fancy about things,” she said. “We just get totally decked out for the parade and show our community spirit.”

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