PRESS RELEASE: The Downtown Racine St. Patrick’s Day Parade, presented by the Downtown Racine Corporation, returns on Saturday, March 16th. It may be the 13th year of the parade, but don’t be fooled by that number, there will be plenty of luck flooding the streets during this day of Irish celebration. Things will get off to a running start as downtown will be host to a 5K, which begins at about 11:50 a.m., so make sure to get there early in order to stake out a viewing area. The parade itself will officially begin on the corner of State Street and Main Street at around noon. The route will proceed south on Main Street, turn west onto Sixth Street and end near City Hall.
At 11:00 a.m., the pre-parade festivities begin on Monument Square. Let the kids burn off some energy by taking a few laps around the ice rink. For those who do not have their own skates, there will be free rentals inside the warming station. Any form of identification must be used as collateral in order to rent skates. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., members of the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance will lead us up to the parade with a performance that will make everyone want to jig along with them. Make sure to grab a cup of hot cocoa and cookies that will be for sale on Monument Square during the entire course of the pre-parade and parade.
New this year, in partnership with 5kevents.org, the parade will be host to the 6th annual St. Pat’s Day 5K®, formerly held at Jose’s Blue Sombrero in Mount Pleasant. For those working their way up to a 5K, the race organizers are also featuring a “Paddy’s 0.08ish K.” Both the 5K and 0.08ish K will start near Pepi’s Bar and Grill, run east on 6th Street and continue north on Main Street. The 0.08ish K will end at The Brickhouse on Main Street. The 5K will continue on towards the lakefront along the Lake Michigan Pathway, and finish where the parade starts on State Street and Main Street. Look for the top male and female finishers as they will join the parade procession upon their completion of the 5K.
“We will run the parade backwards in the beginning in order to take advantage of the Lake Michigan Pathway, then return to the parade with our top runners. The Irish phrase for doing things backwards is ‘It’s so Irish’, so it’s only fitting to run the parade route this way.” – Patrick Flynn, Race Director
Immediately following the race at about noon, dozens of parade entries will march the downtown streets, celebrating one of the community’s favorite traditions. A few entries that are featured include Indian Motorcycle of Racine with about 15 roaring bikes, CNH Industrial with a few larger than life tractors, skaters from the Root River Rollers and youth hip-hop dance group, Sweatshop Movement.
Stick around after the parade and grab a bite to eat or a drink from one of over 45 establishments. Several downtown restaurants and bars will be featuring St. Patrick’s Day specials all day long. For those who haven’t been downtown in a while, make sure to check out everything else there is to offer. From the unique clothing boutiques not found anywhere else, to the immaculate art galleries, there is something for everyone.
Parking can be found at the Lake Avenue Ramp (300 Lake Avenue), Civic Centre Ramp (501 Lake Avenue) and the McMynn Ramp (120 7th Street) for only $2 all day.
“This parade is the official kick off to Spring in downtown and we are thrilled to be able to offer such a fun and festive event to our community for 13 years running.” – Kelly Kruse, DRC Executive Director