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St. Patrick's Day parade is this Saturday | Arts & Culture

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St. Patrick's Day parade is this Saturday
St. Patrick's Day parade is this Saturday

From: http://www.downtownkalamazoo.org/

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade is this Saturday. Anyone want to take a stab at guessing who the local leprechaun was that planted the seed for starting it back in 1990?

If you happened to think, "Jack Moss", you win the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That's how the story goes, anyway, according to Margaret Strzelecki, president of the Irish-American Club which sponsors the event.

The then Kalamazoo Gazette column writer, who loved all things Irish and annually featured his favorite list of local Irish Lads and Lassies on St. Patrick's Day, speculated that there might be enough of them to get a parade going. "Twelve years later - here we are," said Margaret.

This Saturday (March 17) marks the 12th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Kalamazoo.  
"The parade actually falls on the holiday this year. I think that'll really get people in the Irish spirit" she said. "St. Patrick's Day is a 'feel-good' holiday, which makes the parade a 'feel-good' event. It's grown nicely over the years."

This year, the Strzelecki's expect a record number of participants (about 45 units) and a record crowd, given that the parade will occur ON St. Patrick's Day.

Margaret and her husband, both of Irish decent, always look forward to the parade. They don't work it alone, though; they give special thanks to the Irish-American Club's volunteers who work hard behind the scenes organizing, planning and funding the event. "It's a day that draws out a lot of Irish pride," said Margaret.

"And with all the other festivities going on downtown on Saturday, they'll all certainly make it fun to be Irish. Even if technically, you're not, but have always wished to be."   

(Sounds like a Jack Moss line, doesn't?)

PARADE SPECIFICS: Steps off at 11am. on Exchange Place, south of Michigan Avenue, heading south on Kalamazoo Mall to Cedar Street.

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