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Archive for Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Pat’s parade to be exceptional

Get out the green today!

March 17, 2007

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Deb Drummet, left, of Lawrence, and Caryn Becker, of Colorado Springs, Colo., put the final touches on the Shamrock Express Friday afternoon in preparation for today's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which begins at 1 p.m. in South Park and heads north on Massachusetts Street.

Deb Drummet, left, of Lawrence, and Caryn Becker, of Colorado Springs, Colo., put the final touches on the Shamrock Express Friday afternoon in preparation for today's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which begins at 1 p.m. in South Park and heads north on Massachusetts Street.

20th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off at 1 p.m.

Get the green gear ready to go! The 20th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off in downtown Lawrence at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Enlarge video

To mark its 20th year, today's Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade will blend tradition with first-time events.

This year, the holiday's on a Saturday, which hasn't happened in five years. So more people than usual will see more than 100 float entrants cruising Massachusetts Street.

And past queens will grace the parade, including Lauraine Mulally, the parade's first senior queen. She also is mother of this year's grand marshal, Alan Mulally, a Lawrence native who is president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co. She's participated in the parade for 13 years and said it will be "wonderful" to sit with her son this year.

The rest of the Mulally family will ride in a Ford truck, one of many Fords in the parade. There even will be a replica of a Ford airplane. The Jayhawk Model Masters built a replica of the 1926 Ford Fliver aircraft, which will be the parade's centerpiece.

Jerry Foree, president of the group, said Alan Mulally contacted them when he heard about the plane replica and said it "sounds like a great mission and lots of fun."

The parade begins at 1 p.m. in South Park and heads north down Massachusetts Street, across the Kansas River bridge, ending at 501 N. Ninth St.

Generally, the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Committee raises about $50,000, which is donated to children's charities, said Sara Jane Zimmerman, treasurer. Since its inception 20 years ago, the committee has provided more than $385,000.

This year, funds will be split among O'Connell Youth Ranch, Project Kindergarten and the Strategic Education Center.

"It's so amazing what we can get and give back to the children in Douglas County," Zimmerman said.

- Journal-World intern Erin Castaneda can be reached at 832-7261.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

The most interesting of St. Patty's Day parades anywhere had to be the ones here several years ago that started at a gay bar (Campus Hideaway) and ended at a strip club (the Flamingo.) Oh, those Irish!!

Brenda Brown 7 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, bozo. The Hideaway was never the starting place. It starts at South Park, which is near where the Hideaway used to be. Before the parade was allowed down Mass, it started at the Bird and ended at the Jet Lag.

always_amazed 7 years, 9 months ago

I have never figured out why any parade would start or end up at a strip bar.

nbnozzy 7 years, 9 months ago

Bren is correct.

I will be helping with parking today at the Bird so none of ya run me over, okay?

And.... since there will be lots of children around, be extra careful of alcohol consumption and driving.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

"Sorry, bozo. The Hideaway was never the starting place."

Well, you are wrong. For at least one year, (probably a dozen years ago, or so) the Hideaway, which is essentially at S. Park, was the official starting point for the parade, and hosted a brunch for parade participants. I happened to have been a participant that year, so I'm 100% certain of that fact.

One of the more interesting interactions was between the drag queens who were alos participants of the parade and the parade queen. All of their gowns were quite lovely.

larrybill 7 years, 9 months ago

The strip club is not the important thing here. It is the owner of the club. He's irish

nbnozzy 7 years, 9 months ago

to always_amazed: it's because the owner of the Flamingo Club, Wes Kabler, is one of the founders of the Parade. He and Gene Shaughnessy and the late Mike Jones who used to own the Jet Lag and Cactus Jones, started the parade 20 years ago. All three men have done many charitable things for the Lawrence community that you've probably never heard about. They just arent the type to make a lot of noise about their good deeds to the community. Lawrence has been very good to them and they have returned the kindness.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

"Before the parade was allowed down Mass, it started at the Bird and ended at the Jet Lag."

And I believe it was the other way around-- didn't it start at Jet Lag and end at the Bird (which is still the endpoint.)

nbnozzy 7 years, 9 months ago

no bozo, it originally started at the Bird and ended at the Jet Lag..... years later when the city decided it wanted in on it, the Jet Lag got screwed (imagine that) and was taken out of the mix.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

You might be right about that, but for at least one time I was in it, it started at the Jet Lag, and ended at the Bird.

nbnozzy 7 years, 9 months ago

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ScottyMac 7 years, 9 months ago

Actually, beauty --physical beauty, anyway-- isn't a factor at all when the Committee chooses the parade queen.

The committee considers only the work and dedication that the candidates bring to the events. Trust me: The services of these candidates are invaluable.

This year, as in most years, all of the candidates are exceptional. The final selection is something of an unfortunate formality. If you knew all of the hard work (literally hours and hours) these candidates volunteer, you might have a little more respect. They are all queens in the eyes of the committee.

Do you know what the winning queen candidate is awarded for all of her efforts? That's right: A sash and a cheap tiara. That's it.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is an all-volunteer organization. That includes everyone involved, from the chair on down.

The queen candidates volunteer for the same reason everyone else does: They want to give something to this community.

You're right about one thing, Edwin: This year's queen is exceptionally pretty. As a matter of fact, all of this year's candidates are. But, if you want a beauty pageant, call Donald Trump.

ScottyMac 7 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and yes, bozo: At least one time, the parade started at the Lag and marched to the Bird. You are correct. I believe that that was the route the second year.

Here's a link for more info:

http://www.lawrencestpatricksdayparade.com/

ksmom 7 years, 9 months ago

who freggin' cares where it started and stopped?!! Just go or don't go. :-) Whatever you do, just wear some green so I don't have to get blisters from pinching people. ha ha ha

aha 7 years, 9 months ago

It was a good parade, although it took us about an hour just to find a parking spot. We finally just parked in the law enforcement center lot. Plenty of spaces there. :)

Crossfire 7 years, 9 months ago

St Patrick, who single handed destroyed the culture of a free people and brought the Catholic v Protestant War to Ireland. What better way to celebrate him than a day at the Nudie Bar. ...yes...

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