Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t until Tuesday, but many Iowa cities are rolling out the green carpet this weekend, starting the celebration a wee bit early. Emmetsburg is marking its 49th annual Saint Pat’s festival. Organizer Billie Jo Hoffman says special guests arrived in Emmetsburg last night — Irish Senator John Carty, and his wife, Kathrine.
They’ve been to the northwest Iowa town for its celebration of Irish heritage before and plan to make several visits to schools and various events in town. Hoffman says the weekend list of festivities includes the ‘Round the Loch Scholarship Run on Saturday, with a fun run, a 5-K, 10-K and a 13-mile half-marathon.
There’s also a parade starting at 1 P.M. Saturday with nearly 100 entries that’s expected to run two full hours. She says other events will include a host of Irish foods, traditional music, face-painting, rock wall climbing — and something new this year.
There’s a social gathering of the clans and friends of Emmetsburg at the fire station, as so many former residents visit from out-of-town. For more information, call 712- 852-4326 or visit the festival’s website .