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st. patrick's day parade returning

Thursday, March 01, 2018 16:28 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Glasses are being raised instead of cried in over the popular St. Patrick's Day parade in Michigan City coming back.

The well attended parade cancelled in 2017 after a 14-year run is returning because more community members in response to grumblings stepped up and became involved, said Johnny Stimley, parade chairman and city council member.

Stimley said the parade March 10 will have the usual 100 or so units and numerous bag pipe players in kilts.

Miss Indiana Haley Begay and the recent Class A state champion Marquette High School girls basketball team will also be in the parade on Franklin St. from 10th to 4th streets beginning at 1 p.m.

''If it's good weather, I can see more than 5,000 people attending the parade,'' Stimley said.

Stimley, owner of Ryan's Irish Pub at 401 Franklin St, is also a member of the Michigan City Main Street Association, a major sponsor of the parade.

Michigan City mayor Ron Meer said he was involved in the effort to work out issues that resulted in last year's cancellation.

The city always in a supporting role for the parade is helping with things like providing security and promoting the event.

''We're glad it's back,'' Meer said.

The LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau was approached last year about taking over the parade but declined.

Jack Arnett, executive director of the LCCVB, said his agency with everything it has going on to bring people here would not be able to give the always well run parade enough attention in areas like planning.

''I think people are just happy to see it back,'' Arnett said.

A number of activities will be occurring before and after parade like a 2 p.m. magic show by Matt Kalita at the Michigan City Public Library and three charter buses running to 10 pubs and restaurants from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Stimley said the parade is still open to anyone who wants to be in the procession at no cost.

The parade is held the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day to avoid competing with parades in larger communities like Chicago and South Bend, he said.
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