St. Pat’s parade puts Irish pride on display
If luck and the weather forecast hold up, Irish eyes will meet sunny skies Saturday for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Spokane.
In its 36th year, the annual parade offers a family-friendly cross section of Spokane, Irish and otherwise. The forecast calls for a sunny day and a high temperature in the low 50s.
The parade averages 160 entries a year, and most of those include multiple participants, said Eamonn Culkin, parade chairman for the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, which organizes the parade.
In past years, it’s included groups of musicians, pugs, wiener dogs, dog rescuers, horses, recovering addicts, students, tribal members, Italian-Americans, musicians, politicians, leprechauns, motorcycle enthusiasts, golfers, soldiers and police officers.
That’s not counting the fire trucks, cement trucks, pickup trucks and classic cars.
The parade clocks in at more than two hours.
“It’s a plethora of groups,” Culkin said. “Sometimes I just look and go, ‘I didn’t even know we had one of those in Spokane.’ ”
Money raised through parade entry fees and donations goes to charitable organizations, including Second Harvest food bank. Holmes Elementary School will receive $1,000 after its principal, Steve Barnes, was named winner of this year’s Principal on Parade contest.
KXLY anchor Mark Peterson will lead as grand marshal.
Spectators can park on the streets or, for a fee, at the Spokane Arena. But steer clear of the parade route. Meters will be bagged Friday night and vehicles left along the route towed.