The Pierre area’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, this year on March 17, is set to begin at 5:15 p.m.
Everyone is invited to the parade and corresponding activities, and the ‘wearin’ o’ the green,’ said Carol Axtman, Fort Pierre, secretary of the Irish Club of Central South Dakota.
“The St. Patrick’s Day Parade meets a foremost goal of the Irish Club to foster knowledge of our ancestors’ settling of the area and to celebrate “ye ol’ sod” and the Club’s love of celebrating with “wearin’ of the green,” said Axtman.
No parade entry applications are necessary, though the hoped-for line-up could be more easily organized with a heads-up from individuals, groups, churches, school classes, organizations, clubs, and businesses that plan to enter. Formation will begin at the Georgia Morse Middle School parking lot at 4 p.m.
The Irish Club encourages anyone from the area to not only come to see the parade and celebrate, but to also participate in the parade. Prizes will be awarded for the following categories:
walking or self-propelled (bicycle) units
The inclusion or recognition of an Irish family and/or a Past Grand Marshal will enhance the units participating. Window decorating by downtown businesses is also encouraged. A prize will be awarded for the best window.
“Everyone is encouraged to participate. Our parade committee will be at the City Commission early for permits. The Grand Marshal is announced in the Capital Journal the week before the parade. And, our Irish Club president, Jay Perry, will be talking to at least one Riggs High School class. We were thrilled that the Georgia Morse Middle School band marched in last year’s parade, despite bad weather, playing special Irish songs. We hope they will again and encourage Stanley County and any other bands to participate,” said Axtman.
The 2020 parade route is the same as in 2019. It will leave Pleasant and Highland, travel west to Pierre Street, move south to Dakota Avenue, turn right onto Dakota, travel two blocks to Central Avenue, turn left onto Central Avenue and continue to the Missouri River parking area where it will disperse.
After the parade, the Pierre/Fort Pierre Lions Club, as sponsors of this year’s parade, invite everyone to the American Legion Cabin at the bottom of Pierre Street near the end of the parade route to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish Club of Central South Dakota will display Irish information of the area and of Ireland at the Legion Cabin.
Attendees can congratulate the 2020 Parade Marshal(s) and family, while partaking in the Lions Club’s Irish Stew & Irish Potato Soup Feed.
Proceeds of the stew feed help to support the costs of eye screenings and glasses for the Lions’ local community. This is a major fundraiser and very important to these causes. Serving is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information and contacts, visit the Club’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Irish-Club-of-Central-South-Dakota, and the Lion’s Club Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/pierrelionsclub/posts/?ref=page_internal.