Fifty-two St. Patrick’s Days ago, John Dwyer met his future wife at Duffy’s Shamrock Restaurant & Bar in downtown Denver. It was 1963, the year of Denver’s first official St. Patrick’s Day parade. Now in their 70s, they’ve been back every year since. “It’s getting better,” Dwyer said of Saturday’s parade, billed as the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration west of the Mississippi. “There’s so much participation now — I can’t believe it.” The crowd was 10 people deep in places as spectators vied for a view of the floats. As groups of bagpipe players and traditional Irish dancers passed by, people clapped their hands to the music.Blake Blackburn, 12, of Brighton, attends the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Denver, March 14, 2015. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)Jamie Cotter, 33, brought her family from Broomfield to enjoy the spectacle for the first time. She said her 4-year-old son, Broden, had seen the announcement on the news and wanted to catch the marching bands. Food trucks and street vendors lined the parade route, taking advantage of the crowds and the nice weather. Charles Gardner stood at the corner of Blake and 17th streets, selling costumes and toys from a shopping cart. “It’s everything green and Irish,” Gardner said of his goods. He added that business is “booming” this year, with sparkly hats and green stuffed animals as his best sellers. After the parade, a variety of celebrations continued around the city.”It’s coming-out day for spring,” Dwyer said, laughing. “We have to decide which party to go to.”Anna Gauldin: 303-954-1666, agauldin@denverpost.com – Click Here To Visit Article Source