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Baseball legends to lead St. Patrick's Day Parade

ST. CHARLES – With a newly purchased kelly green scarf, resident Terry Donahue is ready to carry out her grand marshal duties Saturday during the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Joining her will be former White Sox pitcher Billy Pierce and former Cubs catcher Randy Hundley.

"It's a great honor to be this marshal," said Donahue, who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. "It really helps if the weather is nice, but I don't think it really matters. The Irish just enjoy, and I'm Irish."

The parade is set to start at 3 p.m. on Main Street beginning at Sixth Street and ending at Fourth Avenue.

With 112 entries, this year's parade will be one of the city's biggest parades, said Deborah Treutler, vice president of events for the St. Charles  Chamber of Commerce. Entries include leprechauns on mini-bikes, equestrian units, stilt walkers, Miss Illinois, antique fire engines and cars, 50 marching canines and marching bands.

Treutler said she is happy with the turnout but isn't sure why so many people wanted to participate this year.

"It's been a tough year," she said. "Maybe everybody wants to celebrate."

The grand marshals are scheduled to be at Onesti Italian Steakhouse & Supper Club, 18 N. Fourth St., from 4 to 5 p.m. to sign autographs.

Donahue, 84, has been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.

She said she got her start playing amateur ball in her native Canada, where her team won the Western Canadian Championship.

At 20 years old, she tried out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in Mississippi and earned a spot on the Peoria Redwings as a utility player. Donahue played with the team from 1946 to 1949, she said.

"It was a great time in our lives," she said.

She moved to St. Charles in 1994 after a career in Chicago.

If you go

What: St. Patrick's Day Parade
When: 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Main Street between Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue, St. Charles

Traffic information

The St. Charles Police Department plans to close portions of Main and Second streets from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

• Main Street: Seventh Street to Fifth Avenue
• Second Street: State Street to Illinois Street

A detour route will use State Street, Seventh Street, Illinois Street, Illinois Avenue and Fifth Avenue, police said.

Motorists should watch for pedestrians and traffic control personnel when driving downtown Saturday. Drivers wanting quick passage through the region should use alternate routes, police said.

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