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Celebrate With The Irish In Emmetsburg

By Staff | Mar 18, 2010

An Emmetsburg tradition started in 1961 when a small group of Irish descendants donned green derbies and marched down Broadway in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Fifty years later, the Irish are still celebrating, and the parade has grown to include nearly 100 entries.

On Saturday, Mar. 20, the 50th St. Patrick’s Day Parade will get underway at 1:30 p.m. The pre-parade of visiting dignitaries will begin at 1 p.m. Each dignitary will be introduced in front of the reviewing stand. The Little Irish Dancers will perform their dance routine during the pre-parade, as well.

John Higgins is serving as Grand Marshall of the 2010 edition of Emmetsburg’s Famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Twenty former Miss Shamrocks and 10 former Grand Marshalls will ride in the parade before taking their seats on the reviewing stand.

Ten Irish families are scheduled to march in the parade, carrying their family shields. All 26 counties of Ireland will be represented with each county’s flag carried aloft.

Traditional favorites will return, such as the Clown Troupes, Shrine Units, Oriental Band, and the West Central Animal Unit. The West Central Animal Unit’s appearance is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Linus Solberg, Mr. and Mrs. Jon Jamison, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Joyce.

Emmetsburg High School and Middle School will send their Marching Bands, and the ever-popular Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band will return. The Pipe Band is sponsored exclusively by Kabrick Distributing.

Horses always play a part in the St. Pat’s Parade, and this year is no exception. The Wells Fargo Stagecoach will trot down Broadway, as well as the Pony Express riders.

Robert Emmet Reception

After the parade, head over to the Multipurpose Senior Center for the Robert Emmet Reception, sponsored by the Robert Emmet Society of the St. Pat’s Association.

The emphasis of this year’s reception is Family History. Those attending may display their own family histories and share as much as they choose.

Edna Nelson will be presenting the histories of the Conway and Hickey families.

The school-age members of the Robert Emmet Society will be explaining their concepts of the fantasy world of fairies.

Ned O’Sullivan, this year’s Irish Dignitary, will be in attendance.

A variety of musical entertainment is scheduled. Irish Miss Hannah Bird will sing “The Story of Robert Emmet,” and Nicholas Adams, Emmetsburg Catholic School student, will perform “The Irish Blessing.” Hillary Holmes, who has roots in Emmetsburg, has prepared a study of traditional Irish instruments along with music. Lyle Edwards will perform on the autoharp.

Samples from the Irish Cooking Contest entries will be available to taste.

Gathering of the Clans

At 3:30 p.m., join your friends and family at the Emmetsburg Fire Station to enjoy food, fellowship, and authentic Irish music. The Irish Minstrels will be performing for young and old, alike.