St. Patrick's Day celebration
Deadline for parade entries is Feb. 22
St. Patrick's Day may be almost two months away, but Dublin's parade lineup is filling up.
The deadline for entries for the St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade is Feb. 22, but organizers are expecting the 110 spots to fill up quickly.
"We're getting applications every day," said Mary Jo Di- Salvo, Dublin events administrator.
The greenest, grandest-themed parade steps off from Metro Center at 11 a.m. March 16 and 20,000 are expected to watch the festivities.
Trish Lackey, Dublin events administrator, said the city is working to create traditions at the St. Patrick's Day parade that people look forward to every year.
"We have the clowns at the end of the parade," Lackey said. "We want kids pushing mom and dad to stay so they can see the clown sweeping up at the end."
An entry from the Sister's Sweet Shoppe has become a tradition in the St. Patrick's Day parade.
The Historic Dublin business won the "Pot-O-Gold" award last year for its entry and owner Nannette Purdy said this year will be the business's 10th in the parade.
"The first year we just thought this would be so much fun," Purdy said. "We had a friend who had a cool old Mustang and we rented costumes.
"We made it in the paper and thought, 'That's so cool.' So, the next year we thought we should have real costumes."
The sisters -- Purdy and Melissa Sonksen -- had costumes made that included huge skirts and hats with 3-foot-wide brims and a rubber fruitcake on top.
"It's so heavy we take Advil before the parade because we know we'll have a major head-ache by the end," Purdy said.
With nearly a decade in the St. Patrick's Day parade, the entry from the Sister's Sweet Shoppe has evolved.
"The float seems to get a little bit more dramatic every year," Purdy said. "We buy more embellishments.
"One year we rented a flat bed and fixed it up and put rocking chairs on it.
"For a couple of years we had one of our friend's waterski boat. You wouldn't know it was a boat, it was so covered in green flowers."
For anyone considering joining Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade for the first time, Purdy offered a few tips: "Definitely embrace the green," she said.
"Go as green as possible. Every year we buy more green stuff. Everybody has green hats and sunglasses. Really enjoy it and have fun with it."
Parade entries must meet entertainment guidelines and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Entries must also use the "greenest, grandest" theme.
Cash prizes will be handed out to the floats that win the Grand Leprechaun's Choice, Pot-O-Gold and Rainbow awards.
For more information or to apply for the parade, look online at dublinohiousa.gov/ events/2013-st-patricks-day-parade-application/.
March 16 St. Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin include the Lion's Club breakfast at Sells Middle School from 7 to 11 a.m., the inflation celebration at 9:30 a.m. at Metro Center and a performance from The Hooligans on Bridge Street near Indian Run Elementary from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.