Put on your Irish best and paint the town green this Saturday, March 11 for the 33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Parade.
The streets will come alive with floats and marching bands at ‘Craic O’ noon’ or 12 noon, with the route beginning at Jefferson and 6th heading west to 5th; heading south on 5th to Capitol; heading north on 6th to the Reviewing Stand, (this is the family friendly area) then to Washington heading east, back to the beginning; the Horace Mann parking lot.
Alongside the parade, this event will feature local music and prizes for the best floats.
In honor of the ‘Irish Hearts O’ Gold’ theme, the parade board selected non-profit, faith-based human and social services providers, Contact Ministries, as its 2017 grand marshal.
New this year, the parade board has started the honorary title of ‘Irish Bua’ to recognize an individual that lives (or lived) the Irish ideals of ‘Bua’, which translates to; of blessings, a strength of character, quality of heart, victory and success. This first-ever title has been awarded to the late Patrick Grady. As the 1988 St Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshal and 1994 Irishman of the Year by the Sons and Daughters of Erin, Pat served the community for 47 years.
Along with the addition of Irish Bua, The Parade Board will also be expanding the ‘kids’ fun area’ to a new location. The free Hy-Vee Family Fun Area will be located on the Old State Capitol Lawn (North and East Lawns) and will include: an 80’ inflatable warrior obstacle course, St Andrews Society Bagpipes, Irish dancers and band, face painting, balloon art, and more. The Hy-Vee food truck will also be on-site for those wishing to purchase non-alcoholic refreshments and food items.
All persons wanting to drink adult beverages outside of a licensed beverage establishment must obtain a wristband provided by bar staff. A $1 fee will be charged for each wristband with proceeds going to the St Patrick’s Day Marching Band Parade Committee. Outside drinking is limited, beginning at 11 am and ending at 5 pm, and will be strictly enforced. Coolers will not be permitted within the parade areas or along the route. An alcohol-free zone has been established on 6th Street between Adams and Washington. Pets and bicycles are prohibited unless used in the parade. Visit: www.springfieldirish.org for more info.