Led by marching bagpipers and red-bearded leprechauns, Iowa’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is scheduled for this weekend in northwest Iowa.
Billie Jo Hoffman, with the St. Patrick’s Association of Emmetsburg, says they’re expecting a favorable forecast and large crowds of green-wearers for the 53rd annual event on Saturday starting at 1:30 in the afternoon. “We have a unique thing that we’ve started as we have the flags of each county in Ireland,” Hoffman says. “It’s pretty impressive to see everybody marching with the different flags. We also have a lot of families that participate and make floats.”
One guest of honor is Michelle Mulherin, a member of the Irish parliament who represents Ireland as a member of the European Union Committee of the Regions. Hoffman says there will also be a special appearance in the parade by the Brian Boru bagpipers from the Twin Cities. “We will probably have over 125 entries this year,” Hoffman says. “It sounds like the weather is going to change for us and be in the 50s so we’re excited that we’ll have a lot of people out. It always makes it easier to march in the parade when the wind’s not blowing and there’s not snow on the ground.”
For the first time, this year’s parade will be televised statewide on Mediacom cable. It will air on March 19th at 7 P.M. on MC-22, along with several planned repeats during the month. The St. Pat’s Day events are already underway in Emmetsburg.
See the schedule at: www.emmetsburgirishgifts.com.