HELENA — After a couple of years of being pretty restricted on performances, the Tiernan Irish dancers hit the streets of Helena on Saturday to perform in the annual Hibernian St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
"Oh, we're so excited to be here today. It's been a long couple of years not having dancing on St. Patrick's Day. Since that is our big season last year, we got to do a little bit, but we're excited to be back to our normal routine this year," said Emily Franke, Tiernan Irish Dance Instructor.
Franke says that for the last two years the 50 boys and girls have been working hard in hopes of getting back into performances.
"It's hard practicing for nothing, and so getting to have that goal work that we're there working toward and performance for them is really awesome," said Franke.
Helena residents gathered along Lawerence Street and Last Chance Gulch to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day early on Saturday. The Tiernan Dancers were ready to bring joy to people's faces.
"I'm very excited. I like seeing everybody smile and get into it and get fun with it," said 16-year-old Alexis Otteson, who has been dancing with the troupe for six years.
Some dancers have dreamed of being a part of the parade, like ten-year-old Aaleigh Johnson.
“I always watched them, the dancers on TV and said 'Auntie, I want to do that someday, and I always wanted to be in a parade," said Johnson, who has been dancing with the troupe for three years.
The Tiernan Irish Dancers will perform on Thursday, March 17 with the following schedule:
- 8:15 a.m. - Inside the Capitol Rotunda
- 9:15am – Smith Elementary – 2320 5th Ave, Helena
- 10:15am – Radley Elementary - - 226 E. Clinton Ave, East Helena
- 11:15am – Warren Elementary – 2690 Old York Road, Helena
- 1:05pm – Cathedral Brondel Center – 530 N Ewing, Helena
- 1:45pm – Hawthorne Elementary – 430 Madison Ave, Helena
- 2:30pm – Kessler Elementary – 2420 Choteau St, Helena
- 3:30pm – Touchmark – 915 Saddle Drive, Helena
- 4:15pm – Lewis & Clark Brewery – 1517 Dodge Ave, Helena
- 5:30pm – Bert & Ernies – 361 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena