By Patrick B. McGuigan
The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade will be this Saturday (March 17) in downtown Oklahoma City. The parade falls on the feast day of the man known to history as “the Enlightener of Ireland.
The downtown and immediate, surrounding area will be more festive than ever.
While the parade begins officially at 1 p.m., organizers encourage participants to start lining up in the morning, certainly before moon. Spectators are encouraged to find a favorite spot for viewing the parade by noon, or 12:30 p.m. at the latest.
Staging area is on Broadway Avenue north of NW 5 street up to NW 8 St, and west to Robinson Avenue. From the 5th Avenue commencement, marchers will head south on Broadway, turning into Bricktown on Sheridan. The parade is held, regardless of weather conditions.
Grand Marshal is Patrick Rooney. U.S. Military veterans will be in the parade this year. Tribal color guards, Irish dancers, Scouts, high school Junior ROTC (including Northwest Classen), beauty queens, equestrian units, car clubs, civic groups and law enforcement are included in this, one of the largest regional St. Patrick’s parades. The Knights of Columbus have been a participating unit in every parade since the first official one held in the city three decades ago.
Members of Oklahoma Council 1038 join each year with Knights in full regalia from the Chief Justice Matthew John Kane Assembly.
Among the most popular entries each year are the Massed Pipes and Drums of Oklahoma.
Local celebration of the parade actually began last weekend, with the “Green Tie Gala” sponsored by Catholic Charities. The event, held at the National Cowboy Museum, benefited the Sanctuary Women’s Development Center in south Oklahoma City.
Rooney continues the tradition of honoring individuals of Irish descent who have contributed significantly to the quality of life in Oklahoma City.
For 21 years, a “St. Patty’s Day” Block Party has been held in the historic Bricktown business district. Festivities unfold starting at noon, on the Corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma Avenue.
Saint Patrick’s Day parade (and parties) slated for Bricktown and dowtown Oklahoma City
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