St. Patrick's Day Parade

The 2012 St. Patrick’s Day parade, sponsored by Downtown Washington Inc., took place Friday afternoon, March 16.

Entries for the expanded St. Patrick’s Day parade in Downtown Washington are being sought.

“Right now we have several entries confirmed and there’s been a lot of interest from other groups who have come in to pick up an entry form or call with questions,” said Aimee Frey, event coordinator for Downtown Washington Inc., parade sponsor.

“We really want to go green in a big way this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, so we’re hoping many more groups will join us,” Frey said.

The annual parade is being moved to a Saturday to attract more parade participants and spectators.

It will take place Saturday, March 9, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Main and Cedar streets parking lot.

In the past, the “informal” parade was held during the week on or near the actual holiday.

“We want to make it more like our Holiday Parade of Lights and really grow it,” Frey said. “It’s been very casual, very laid-back in the past, but we think the town is ready for a bigger parade.”

Frey said businesses, service/civic organizations, churches, schools, Scouts and families are all invited to participate.

“We have invited both high school bands to perform and we’re looking for a leprechaun to help lead the parade,” she said.

“The rules are pretty simple — floats or entries must be decorated in green, the more the merrier, and candy cannot be thrown, but may be passed out by participants walking along the entry.”

Frey said the date was chosen as not to conflict with the large St. Patrick’s Day parade held in downtown St. Louis.

The route will be the same as the Holiday Parade of Lights.

The parade will travel south on Cedar to Fifth Street; east on Fifth to Elm Street; north on Elm to Second Street; east on Second to Jefferson Street; north on Jefferson to Main Street; and then west on Main, ending at the Main and Cedar parking lots.

Frey said she hopes to have anywhere from 40 to 50 entries.

“That might be a little ambitious for our first year, but we certainly hope to grow it to that size,” she said.

Frey expects to see more spectators along the parade route as well.

“During the week, we always had smaller crowds, but they were enthusiastic,” she said. “Now we hope to see a lot more people.”

Frey said the parade was first started and sponsored by St. Francis Borgia Parish. The downtown group took over the event several years ago at the church’s request.

The entry form can be found online or at the Downtown Washington Inc. office inside the historic post office. The entry fee is $10 and there will be an optional judging component for entries who want to participate.

For more information, people may call the downtown office, 636-239-1743.