St. Patrick’s Irish Festival set for March 14


By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
If you are an artisan, a member of a local nonprofit group, a maker of spices, soaps or want to get information to the public about your organization, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church has a great opportunity for you.
On March 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the church’s newly enlarged parking lot will be transformed into a site for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, offering free space for vendors to sell their wares, the route for the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade, free food, Irish dancing, free concerts, a snowman building contest, a fly-tying and casting class, a book sale, face painting and more.
This is St. Patrick’s fifth year to host this celebration and each year brings more fun and new events.
“When the town decided to discontinue the downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade, our church members went to work to provide the community a family-friendly event to help them enjoy the day. It is, after all, our church’s patronal feast day,” said Fr. Doug Neel. “Each year the event has grown with more events and more and more people coming to join in the fun.”
Participants dress up in their most outlandish St. Patrick’s Day attire. Dogs (on leash) are invited to the event and, often, are wearing the most festive costumes of them all.
“We invite folks to join our parade as well,” said Neel. The parade route stretches from one end of the parking lot to the other and includes the traditional St. Patrick’s float featuring St. Patrick himself accompanied by children who want to ride on the trailer. (Parents are encouraged to ride with the younger ones.)
In addition, there will be a large fire truck and a festive trash truck. The parade will be led by St. Patrick’s bagpipe band and the Irish-like dancers. Others who wish to join the parade may line up at 11:20 a.m. on the north end of the parking lot. If you want to provide a float, please call the church office and let us know.
For more information on how you or your organization can participate, call the church office at 731-5801 and ask for Lynne McCrudden. If you reach the voicemail, please leave a message and she will call you back. Vendor spaces are free, though vendors will need to sign up and provide their own tables, chairs and tents. St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.