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The annual spectacle features horses, dogs, scooters, dancers and lots of candy

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - A Murphy's Furniture volunteer leaps a puddle while passing out fliers during Saturdays annual St. Patricks Day Parade in Hillsboro. Despite a drizzly morning, hundreds came to downtown Hillsboro last Saturday for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Horses and their owners go green for the holiday.

Past parades have seen worse weather. "We've had rain, snow, you name it," said Kathy Murphy-Hogan, who runs Murphy's Furniture in Cornelius with her family and organizes the annual parade.NEWS-TIMES PHOTOS: CHASE ALLGOOD - Murphy's Furniture of Cornelius is the longtime sponsor of the St. Patricks Day Parade and leads the way with its banner and truck. "That's Murphy's law. One year it was raining and the rain froze on the balloons. Not only did balloons get heavy and sink, but they exploded and then the sun came out just before the parade, so nobody had any balloons."NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Forest Grove Dance Arts sent a contingent of dancers -- and a wagon-pulling dog -- to liven up the parade.

This year, according to parade emcee Harvey Berkey, the leprechauns did their work and made sure the rain stopped just as the parade began — then started up again just as it finished.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Hillsboro Tribune advertising director and parade emcee Harvey Berkey announces groups as they approach.

Murphy-Hogan said her mother, Ruth Murphy, started the parade in the 1980s as a way to drum up business during an economic downtown. Now, "It's a 'thank you' to everyone in western Washington County for supporting us."NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - The Hillsboro Optimist Club runs a monster truck through the heart of downtown Hillsboro.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - An Irish setter (with hat) is a required participant for an Irish-themed parade. NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - A scooter crew dresses up for the occasion.

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