It’s never too early for a good Iowa Irishman to celebrate St. Pat’s day — so the parade begins today (Saturday) in the Quad Cities. Pat Burke, president of the St. Patrick society, says they started the parades back in 1986 on St. Patrick’s Day, but it became such a huge event they moved it to the weekend before. The route is three miles long and it’s unique. Burke says it’s the nation’s only 2-state parade, beginning in Rock Island and proceeding across the Centennial bridge into Davenport with 50-thousand people coming to watch. The “Irish Mother of the Year” was named at a Friday luncheon, Janis McGuire of Rock Island. Two 1500-dollar scholarships were given to Colleen Gilhooly and Katie Davis. Burke says it turns out there’s quite a bit of Irish culture and pride in the area. The parade begins in Rock Island at 10:30 this morning. There’s an Irish step-dance afterward at Davenport’s Col Ballroom, and a full day of events Sunday at the RiverCenter.