Archive for Friday, March 13, 2009

St. Patrick’s Day Parade to honor late musician John Weatherwax

March 13, 2009


Joy and Marty Pattin, of Lawrence, will be senior queen and king in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Joy is the daughter of John Weatherwax, a jazz band musician whom the parade will be honoring.

Joy and Marty Pattin, of Lawrence, will be senior queen and king in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Joy is the daughter of John Weatherwax, a jazz band musician whom the parade will be honoring.

St. Pat's events

• Tonganoxie, 10 a.m. Saturday: Parade will be on Fourth Street from Main to Shawnee. At 7:30 a.m., Girl Scouts will serve biscuits and gravy at Old Ratliff Drug Store. Corned beef will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at United Methodist Church.

• Shawnee, 1 p.m. Sunday: Parade starts on Johnson Drive at Monrovia Street and travels east to King Street. The annual Great Duck Race will begin immediately after the parade. Plastic ducks are raced starting at 4:30 p.m.

• Topeka, noon Tuesday: Parade starting from Eighth and Jackson streets.

John Weatherwax and his Junkyard Jazz Band never missed a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Lawrence.

He’ll be there again Tuesday for this year’s parade, at least in spirit and name.

Weatherwax died in August. The parade will be in honor of him.

“From the very start he got his band involved in it. I don’t think he ever missed anything,” said Weatherwax’s daughter, Joy Pattin.

As a tribute to Weatherwax, the parade committee selected Pattin and her husband, Marty Pattin, to be the parade’s senior king and queen.

“The Weatherwaxes have always been a big part of this,” said Roger Browning, spokesman for the committee. “His band played at other events, including the queen coronations.”

This is the parade’s 22nd year. Over the years it has grown to include a series of events that precede parade day, including pub crawls; dart, trivia and chili contests; an auction; and a 5K run. These events and the parade itself are fundraisers for local charities.

The final pre-parade event is today’s Poker Run motorcycle rally, with motorcyclists riding off at noon from Slow Ride Roadhouse, 1530 N. Third St. Registration for the rally starts at 10:30 a.m. Riders will go to Tonganoxie, Oskaloosa, Topeka, Perry and back to Lawrence.

Tuesday’s parade starts at 1 p.m. from South Park. It will go north on Massachusetts Street, across the Kansas River Bridge, east on Locust Street and end at the Flamingo Club, 501 N. Ninth St. More than 100 parade entries are expected.

“Every year there’s been a few more entries. We have people coming from all over,” parade co-chairwoman Dina Hinchman said.

This year’s parade grand marshal will be Bill Garrett, who for years operated Garrett’s Vegetable Market along U.S. Highway 40 near Lawrence Municipal Airport. This year’s parade queen, Taylor King, of Oskaloosa, and her court, consisting of other queen candidates, also will ride in the parade.

St. Patrick’s Day events this year will benefit four charities: Boys and Girls Club of New York School, Lawrence Parents as Teachers, GaDuGi SafeCenter and Lawrence High School Support Team. The amount raised won’t be announced until later.

“It’s been a record year. We’ve done surprisingly well,” Browning said.

“Maybe people are saying the economy is going to be bad no matter what, so let’s have some fun,” Hinchman said.

Up to this year the parade and fundraising events have provided more than $479,000 to local charities.


Boston_Corbett 9 years, 3 months ago

Could someone with knowledge explain what the "Lawrence High School Support Team" is. Not being critical, I just have no clue. Thanks.

ilovelucy 9 years, 3 months ago

LHS Positive Support is a program for kids at LHS with learning disabilities. The program was created by the special education department to help these kids achieve their goals and aspirations. A very worthy program

Raider 9 years, 3 months ago

Actually Lucy, that's not what it is. It's a group of teachers and staff at LHS that work with at-risk students. They encourage things such as attendance, making good grades, graduation, etc. They work with the kids of are "at risk" of failing or dropping out. Hence the "Positive Support".


Boston_Corbett 9 years, 3 months ago

ilovelucy: I am sure it is very worthy, but help me out some more if you can. What does the fund raising support? I am still clueless. Special Ed teacher salaries? Tutors? Specialized testing? Extra-curricular functions or after-hours activities? Does the program operate with some District money, or just all donations? Is there a similar program at FreeState or do we concentrate LD students at LHS? Is it operated by the school? or by a separate board? Thanks

imisspattersonliquor 9 years, 3 months ago

I miss John Weatherwax. Thanks for honoring him this way. Very appropriate.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 3 months ago

Or Raider, perhaps you could explain in more detail. If it is a program run by "teachers and staffs" promoting "attendance, good grades, and graduation" what are these funds actually expended for? Why isn't this program supported by the school board?

Raider 9 years, 3 months ago

Corbett you would have to talk to the staff involved to find out what the funds are used for. I suggest you call LHS and ask to speak to one of the faculty involved if you'd like more details.

Tyson Travis 9 years, 3 months ago

I was honored to work for John for a couple of years at Viking Investment before I went off to a career in the military, he was an outstanding gentleman, war hero, very supportive, and a good jazz musician. He'll be missed by all our family. John, even though I can't be there on March 17, here's one to ya! Ty Travis, Pine Bluff, AR

womanwarrior 9 years, 3 months ago

Corbett, if it was being funded by the school board, it would have been cut off by now. Even good programs are on the chopping block. If you don't think good programs for kids should have to be funded by charity events, then tell your state reps you are willing to go back to pre-Graves tax cuts, so we can continue to have good education for our kids. They blew all our surpluses on tax cuts, instead of saving for a rainy day. There is no such thing as a free lunch. You can help kids change their lives now, or have to pay more for police and personal security when they turn to crime instead of education. Get involved or at least be willing to pay taxes or donate to groups who make a difference.

I've heard John's band many times, and he will be missed. I'm glad they are honoring his memory. Does anyone know if the band is continuing? It would be a great legacy if the band recruited members when they lose someone, and continue on.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 3 months ago

"Corbett you would have to talk to the staff involved to find out what the funds are used for.guess nobody can explain."

This should not be that difficult. But I guess nobody can articulate.

And if a such a simple question gets people like womenwarrior into a political diatribe, it makes me a bit suspicious.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 3 months ago

"Corbett you would have to talk to the staff involved to find out what the funds are used for."

This should not be that difficult.

Nor I am not wanting to get into a political discourse with people like womanwarrior. I was asking a simple question.

Is it, as womanwarrior suggests, for expenditures that the school district once made? What are they made for?

womanwarrior 9 years, 3 months ago

Why don't you get involved in the fundraising, then you may judge who they give the money to. You do not have to be involved in any of the St. Pat's day fund raising. You don't have to donate, if you don't think its for a worthy cause. I'm sure the group looks closely at who gets the money, and everyone has the right to give or not. Why are you suspicious of a group who are trying to help kids at risk? Why do you think the St. Pat's committee wouldn't check out someone they are going to help?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.