Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade experts have advice for the 20,000 expected to watch the procession March 14: Dress for the weather and wear green.

Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade experts have advice for the 20,000 expected to watch the procession March 14: Dress for the weather and wear green.

Dublin's annual parade, featuring about 110 units, including floats, bands, horses, leprechauns and more, is slated to step off from Metro Center on Frantz Road at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14.

Mary Jo DiSalvo, an events administrator for Dublin, has had a hand in organizing the parade for many years and has lots of tips for getting the most out of Dublin's greenest parade.

"Bring a chair," she said. "Fold-up chairs are nice.

"If (people) want to be in the front row, we see people putting out chairs as early as 7 or 8 a.m., and people go back to their favorite spots year after year," DiSalvo said.

People seem to set up earliest on Frantz Road, facing Metro Center on the side of the street where the Kroger and Zettler hardware stores are, she said.

"A lot of people like the area down by Mezzo ... and then we also get a good crowd at the corner (of Bridge and High streets) going into Historic Dublin."

With unpredictable spring weather, DiSalvo encouraged people to listen to the forecasts and dress for the occasion.

"Dress for the weather and wear your green," she said.

"Weather has never dampened or hindered people from wearing green. Sometimes watching spectators is as much fun as watching the parade."

Watching this year's parade will be far from boring, DiSalvo said, adding the giant helium-filled bear will return.

"You can see the 'wow' factor when it comes around the corner," said Trish Lackey, a Dublin events administrator.

Floats in this year's St. Patrick's Day parade include a new Dublin Irish Festival float.

"We've been using the float for many years and it's going into retirement," DiSalvo said.

"We created a new one. A brand new Dublin Irish Festival float will debut at this parade."

The festival honorary chairman, Pete Fingerhut, will ride on the float with his wife, Joanie, and son, Blake.

The St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade will be led by Grand Leprechaun Bob Adamek.

"Bob, his wife, Sharon, and daughter, Kaylee, are leading the parade on the Grand Leprechaun float and the former grand leprechauns will be behind them wearing their sashes and top hats," DiSalvo said.

Other activities

The parade is expected to draw 20,000 spectators to Dublin, but it's not the only St. Patrick's Day event being held in the city March 14.

The Dublin Lions Club will kick the day off at 7 a.m. at Sells Middle School, 159 W. Bridge St., with a pancake breakfast.

"We'll have a balloon twister there as well and a circus calliope," Lackey said.

After the parade, the Dublin AM Rotary club will host the Blarney Bash from noon to 11 p.m. in a heated tent on the grounds of OCLC, 6540 Kilgour Place, and offer food, music and entertainment.

"We also have restaurants, pubs and businesses having specials and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on March 14 will have free admission to the zoo for anyone wearing green or Dublin Irish Festival merchandise," DiSalvo said.