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1981: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with The Gordon Pipers

Posted at 5:30 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 05:31:09-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The skirl of bagpipes from the Gordon Pipers is an unmistakable sound that has permeated central Indiana for decades. Whether at the Indianapolis 500, a Colts game, or the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Gordon Pipers have been a Hoosier institution since 1962.

Former WRTV reporter Reid Duffy caught up with the windy organization outside of the Union Jack Pub in Speedway on St. Patrick’s Day in 1981.

The pipers were warming up their pipes and prepping for their annual tour of watering holes around central Indiana.

Founder Dr. Wallace “Doc” Gordon Diehl acknowledged that the sound of a bagpipe could be polarizing.

“It’s something that kind of gets in your blood. You’re either with it or you’re not. You’re either for it or you’re against it. There’s no in-between.”

The group played at 15 locations that year including stops at Murphy’s, Flanigan's, Houlihan’s and the Athletic Club, with Diehl’s daughter Soupy dancing along the way.

While the coronavirus pandemic silence the bagpipes in 2020, the group plans to return to the streets this year.