Pat Troy's Ireland's Own was filled to capacity Sunday afternoon for the annual Ballyshaners' fundraiser, a silent and live auction that raises money to support the city's St. Patrick's Day parade.
New this year was a live "date" auction, where eight members of the Ballyshaners including City Councilman Frank Fannon auctioned themselves off as dates to the Grand Marhsall Dinner, held on the eve of the parade.
"I wasn't sure if I was going to get many bids," Fannon laughed. "But the date part of the auction brought in more than $2,000."
The Ballyshaners, a nonprofit organization that founded the city's St. Patrick's Day parade in 1980, contributes $40,000 to the cost of the event, which will take place March 6.
"With cuts being made throughout the city, it's important that host organizations contribute to the cost of these events," Fannon added. "The financial burden cannot continue to be on the taxpayers."
The parade is the marquee event in the Ballyshaners' efforts to showcase Old Town and attract business to the city and Fannon praised Pat Troy for his years of support to the community.
Fannon expects a good crowd for this year's festivities, which include a classic car show and dog show in Market Square.