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Celebrating St.Patrick’s Day

By Staff | Mar 18, 2008

THE LONE PIPER led the way to the reviewing stand for the dignitaries in Emmetsburg for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The streets were lined with people who were enjoying the annual celebration. --Dan Voigt photo

Despite chilly temperatures and overcast skies, the luck of the Irish prevailed, and the 2008 St. Patrick’s Celebration will go down in the history books as a success. It was a busy week, starting with the Miss Shamrock and Junior Miss Pageants last Saturday, and culminating with the St. Pat’s Banquet on Sunday.

The highlight of the celebration for many, however, was the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The much-anticipated event was sponsored by the St. Pat’s Association and organized by Dave VanOosbree, parade chairman. VanOosbree returns to his duties of parade chairman after serving in that capacity from 1989 to 1993.

“Everything went pretty well, considering the weather,” stated Dave VanOosbree. “There were a couple glitches, but nothing that can’t be fixed. I heard a lot of positive comments.”

There were some 70 entries in Saturday’s parade following the green stripe down Broadway. Crowd favorites, the Brian Boru Band from St. Paul, Minnesota, made an appearance, as well as the Emmetsburg Fire Department’s 1916 fire truck. The fire truck has been in every St. Pat’s parade since the celebration began in the 1960’s.

“Of course, the Brian Boru bagpipers are my favorite,” VanOosbree noted. “I heard from parade goers that they really enjoyed the stilt walkers and the magician who was walking around performing tricks.”

Other parade favorites included the entry sponsored by Holy Family Catholic Church and Emmetsburg Catholic School entitled “Where Blarney Ends and Faith Begins.” Father Clem Currans drove a red Farmall, followed by a golf cart full of “blarney catchers.”

Another favorite was the Pizza Ranch float, entitled “Where Life Tastes Better,” that featured “Ranch hands” around the fire with “Ranch chicken” on the spit. The crew handed out wooden gliders for the children.

The Robert Emmet Society went to the history books for inspiration for their entry that depicted Irish icons Robert Emmet, St. Patrick, and Ann Devlin.

Looking to next year’s celebration, VanOosbree said that he would like to see long-time parade participants, the Oriental Band and the Shriners’ cars, return for the 2009 parade.