The Columbus St. Patrick's Day celebration March 17 will reflect some major changes this year.

The Columbus St. Patrick's Day celebration March 17 will reflect some major changes this year.

There will be a shift in the location of morning Mass, the parade route and the Irish Family Reunion.

Michael Redmond, president of the Shamrock Club of Columbus, which organizes the day's festivities, said the club is trying to take the modifications in stride.

"We're hoping for a good turnout, we're hoping for good weather and we wanted to keep the event downtown," Redmond said.

The Mass will return to St. Patrick's Church at 280 N. Grant Ave. It begins at 9:30 a.m. A scheduling conflict forced the club to move the service in 2002. It has been held in several downtown-area Catholic churches since then.

That move and the razing of the Franklin County Veterans Memorial by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners also caused a change in the parade route.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m. March 17, the parade will proceed north on Grant to Broad Street, west on Broad to High Street and north on High to the corner of Nationwide Boulevard and High.

The parade grand marshal is Msgr. John Kelly Cody.

Redmond said the parade will cost the club $9,000, up from $6,600 last year. The difference in price reflects more street closures and, therefore, the need for more safety forces, because of the new parade route, he said.

Perhaps the most notable variation in the celebration will be the change in venue for the Irish Family Reunion, which will be held in the Battelle Grand Ballroom at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

For decades, the reunion had been hosted in Franklin County Veterans Memorial, which is in the process of being torn down. Historically, the parade would end at Vets where the reunion featuring live music, dancing and food was held.

"That was the biggest change for us, when Vets closed up," Redmond said. "We had nothing downtown except the Convention Center that could hold us (for the reunion)."

Patrons also will notice another difference -- higher prices. Admission will be $13 for adults and $8 for children between the ages of 5 and 17. In recent years, the prices were $9 for pre-sale tickets and $10 the day of the event.

At Vets, people could bring in their own food and the Shamrock Club brought in catered fare, making it a major fundraiser for the organization.

Those attending this year's reunion will have to pay for catered food delivered to their tables at the Convention Center or purchase from concession stands and people will not be able to bring in their own food, Redmond said.

"We're not going to make as much money," he said.

Otherwise, the event will celebrate Irish heritage with traditional Irish dancing, live music and hearty fare, said Rich Clemons, a past president of the Shamrock Club who coordinates the reunion for the club.

Clemons said he's hoping to get 5,000 to 6,000 people at the event.

"On a weekday, that would be good," he said. "That would be a good turnout."

The change in location will be refreshing, he said.

"I think it's going to be a great venue," he said. "Battelle hall is a nice-looking place."