St. Patrick’s Irish Festival touts shortest parade

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
St. Patrick’s Irish Festival and World’s Shortest Parade is scheduled for March 16 at 11 a.m. in the church parking lot, located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. The festival is free and open to the public.

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
It’s time to brush the snow off of your bagpipes, dig out your most outrageous green Irish gear and get ready for Pagosa Springs’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Festival at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church on March 16 beginning at 11 a.m.
The festival features The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade that begins at 11:30 a.m. at the north end of the church parking lot and concludes at the south end. Children are invited to ride on the float with St. Patrick himself.
Besides the St. Patrick’s float, last year’s parade included a fire truck, a trash truck, antique cars, bagpipers and a swarm of happy leprechauns. If you are interested in participating in the parade, just come and line up at 10:45 a.m. and join the fun.
There will be booths for vendors situated along the parking lot as well. The booths are rent-free, but vendors must contact the church office at 731-5801 to reserve a spot. Vendors should provide their own tables, chairs and tents. Last year’s booths included nonprofit groups along with vendors of handmade jewelry, pottery, spices, clothing items and more. Food and beverages will be provided by the Men of St. Patrick’s. Beer will be available for sale as well.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Parking will be available at the hospital next door to the church. The festivities will be located on the parking lot located behind the church. Pets are welcome, but must be on a leash and owners are responsible for waste cleanup.
“We had a large crowd last year,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s, who also plays the role of St. Patrick. “We all had a great time in spite of the cold March weather. We always hope for the sun to shine on us, but we will celebrate regardless of weather. We invite everyone to come and join in the fun!”