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On St. Patrick's Day, check with LJWorld.com and lawrence.com for live parade coverage. We'll have posts from people watching and riding in the parade, photo galleries and video highlights. You can see your content within our sites as well by using the #lawstpats hashtag.
• Luck-of-the-Irish Poker Run
This motorcycle run starts at the Slow Ride Roadhouse, 1350 N. Third St. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m. with a $10 suggested donation. At noon the run will leave and head to the other locations, which include stops in Eudora, De Soto, Bonner Springs and Tonganoxie. At each stop, riders will pick a card from the deck. When the run ends back in Lawrence at Jet Lag Lounge, 610 Fla., the rider with the best hand will win.
• Queen selection
The Parade Committee will choose a queen out of its five candidates: Shana Kelly, Katlin Affalter, Amber Lee, Lauren Mansfield and Nakai Marr. The queen candidates have been helping with fundraising throughout the duration of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The queen and other candidates will all participate in Wednesday’s parade.
• St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The parade starts at 1 p.m. in South Park and travels up Massachusetts Street, over the river and through north Lawrence. The parade will change from its normal route because of construction north of the river, turning on Elm Street and eventually onto Locust Street. Watch the parade live on Sunflower Broadband channel 6. The parade will be replayed on that channel later on Wednesday at 8 pm., Friday at 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 20 at 11 a.m.
Dan Affalter remembers the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Lawrence in 1988. He led the parade, but not as a participant. He was a police motorcycle escort for the parade and remembers the snow he had to ride through to get the parade going.
This year, he’ll lead the parade, too. This time, he’s the grand marshal, an honor he was surprised to receive.
“I was flabbergasted when they said I was going to do that,” he said.
Affalter, a long-time Lawrence resident, will lead this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday at South Park. He’ll be joining the likes of Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co. CEO, and Don Fambrough, former Kansas University football coach, who have also been grand marshals of the parade.
Affalter has been in Lawrence since he was in third grade and graduated from Lawrence High School. He joined the police force before even going to the police academy because the department was low on manpower. Six months later, he went to the police academy in Hutchinson. He stayed with the Lawrence Police Department for 33 years, working in the investigation division and did stints in the narcotics division, as a detective and later as an administrator.
Now Affalter is retired and is involved in many local organizations. He’s on the board of directors for Shelter Inc., an organization that helps children who need a place to stay. He also is active in the local Fraternal Order of Police, which gives scholarships to students, sponsors sports teams and also has a lodge where hunter education courses are taught. He said the privilege of leading the 2010 parade as grand marshal was unexpected but appreciated.
“It’s an honor to be thought of in that regard,” he said.
Affalter will be joined in the parade with Luther and Evelyn Kelly, this year’s Senior King and Queen, the queen, who will be selected Sunday, and her court.