Dublin Villager

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Interest in annual parade already starting to bloom


With frigid temperatures and lots of snow this winter, Dublin is expecting cabin fever to bring record numbers to its St. Pat-rick's Day Celebration parade.

The March 15 parade, themed "The Greenest, Grandest Parade," will take entries until Feb. 28, but many have already submitted applications to join.

The parade, which will start at Metro Center at 11 a.m. March 15 and follow Bridge Street into Historic Dublin, will take about 110 entries.

"We've had quite a few applications come in already that we've accepted," said Trish Lackey, a Dublin events administrator.

"We have a marching band out of Baltimore, Md," Lackey said. "They seek out one or two parades per year. They have it in their budget to go to other states to perform... . There aren't many St. Patrick's Day parades around the country.

"We are somewhat unique to that. They heard about us and want to come," Lackey said.

The city held a parade float workshop last fall and drew a record attendance.

"The workshop is something more hands on, but year-round we help everybody get involved and get examples of how to be in this parade," said Mary Jo DiSalvo, a Dublin events administrator.

"We want to educate people and help them be successful and enjoy the experience of being in the parade," DiSalvo said

Although the Presidents Cup was held in Dublin already, the float created for the event will make a reappearance in the St. Patrick's Day parade.

"We have taken the Presidents Cup float and reconfigured it for the new Grand Leprechaun to ride on," DiSalvo said.

"It'll carry the Grand Marshal in the Independence Day parade. When we created the float for the Presidents Cup, we knew we were not producing something we couldn't use again."

The St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade is set to step off at 11 a.m., but festivities will begin earlier.

From 7 to 11 a.m., the Dublin Lion's Club will hold a pancake breakfast in Sells Middle School.

The Inflation Celebration will allow the public to see parade balloons inflated starting at 9 a.m. at a new location.

"It was a couple of years in the making, but because of logistics, trees and power lines, we moved it to the Graeter's parking lot," Lackey said.

"We wanted to move it to the Graeter's parking lot for easier access for spectators and it's easier to get the balloons to the parade route," she said.

The Hooligans will provide music from the spectator stage in front of Indian Run Elementary School before the parade.

DiSalvo is expecting a large crowd for the Hooligans and parade to entertain.

"Given the weather we're having we're expecting record numbers March 15," she said. "By the time March 15 rolls around, we expect record crowds because of all the cabin fever."