11th Annual St. Patricks Day parade is back

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st pattys day parade

 

by Sydney Ford

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE— Mid Michigan’s only St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off in Grand Ledge on March 15. This is the 11th year that the parade has come to Grand Ledge and it is creating quite the buzz.

Blake Washington, a Grand Ledge resident says, “When the St. Patty’s Day parade comes, it really is a good time. We have fun food, music and drinks. It’s a great event for families to come to.”

It’s not just for the locals that want to celebrate, but people can come from surrounding cities in Michigan to have fun at the St. Patrick’s Day gatherings.

“On Friday, Mar. 14, from 6 p.m. to 11p.m. the Opera House will have Irish dancers (townsfolk can join in too), The Glen Erin Bagpipe Band, Irish food and drinks,” said Melanie May, the facility manager, “The Opera house hosts the events, Dan O’Shea is the one that puts it all together. We look forward to it every year.”

Mar. 15, will be packed full of events. The Irish Stew cook-off from 11a.m. to 4p.m. Grand Ledge residents can go to the Cole Briggs Post on 721 N. Clinton and vote for their favorite stew.

The kids will be able to enjoy a free movie at noon in the Sun Theatre. Their movie will finish just in time to see the main event, the parade, at 2p.m.

“The parade always has lots of music and floats made by some of the local businesses,” said Dan O’Shea, a board member of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association.

Lanny Preston, the owner of a local bar, was proud to announce that his bar is a four time winner when it comes to floats. “We had the best and winning float last year, it was for our 100th year anniversary,” said Preston.

O’Shea added new features when planning the parade this year. Instead of holding a scheduled dinner, he has set up Irish food set up a la carte.

This way the residents can eat if they would like and continue watching the entertainers, enjoying the Irish bands, and hearing some new local artists even after the parade has ended.

Businesses are able to benifit from the surge of customers during the St. Patrick’s Day events. Preston’s Bar is one of them. They are one of the many bars and pubs included in the annual bar crawl event.

“Its gets really busy when people come in for drinks and we also serve free corned beef and cabbage for as long as it lasts. We like to really take care of our customers.”

You can contact reporter Sydney Ford at fordsyd1@msu.edu

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