St. Patrick’s Day is still a week away. But it’s never too early to celebrate, right?
And the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick are kicking things off in a big way with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday. Here are five things you should know.
1. Yes. The parade is a full six days before St. Patrick’s Day. The rules of the calendar mean that every few years, the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day is really before St. Patrick’s Day. This is one of those years. The parade will begin at noon and is scheduled to run until about 3 p.m.
2. After a parade route change last year, due to construction on Wall Street, the route is back to past form: From Boone Avenue near the Spokane Arena, the parade will head south on Washington, zig-zagging west between Spokane Falls Boulevard and Main Avenue before turning north again on Post Street. The parade’s end is north of Spokane City Hall and the river.
3. It’s good to be prepared … for rain. Since 1979, the parade has been held rain or shine. The National Weather Service in Spokane is predicting a 30 percent chance of rain after 10 a.m. Saturday with a high of 41 degrees. Dress appropriately.
4. The parade grand marshals have included city officials (mayors Vicki McNeill, John Powers, David Condon, Jim West, Jack Geraghty), actors and television personalities (Patty Duke, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Mark Peterson), and a host of sports figures (Bobby Brett, John Stockton, Mark Rypien, Mike Price, Robb Akey, Jim Walden). Last year the honor went to Eastern Washington University’s star football player, Cooper Kupp. This year, the grand marshal will be Mary Cullinan, president of EWU.
5. Many people associate St. Patrick’s Day with beer, green, Guinness or otherwise. While folks are free to imbibe after the parade, no drinking is allowed in the parade or along the parade route. As the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick make very clear on their website: “Alcoholic beverages are forbidden on any float or vehicle or on the person of any participant. … NO OPENED BEVERAGE CONTAINERS OF ANY KIND WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE PARADE ROUTE.”
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