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Springfield's 29th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration to be Held Tomorrow

Throw on your green tomorrow and head downtown for the Springfield St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky tells you what you can expect.

Green will be everywhere tomorrow (3/14/09) in downtown Springfield for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration.It all gets underway at 11 tomorrow morning on Park Central Square with food and entertainment. Dave Trippe is chair of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

"There's often rides for children. You know, the jumpy jump kinds of things on the square, and we've had all different kinds of things on the square. We have foods and we have booths where you can pick up t-shirts or beads."

An Irish Idol Contest starts at 11:30—the winner gets $100 and the chance to perform at an awards ceremony after the parade at Patton Alley Pub.There are more than 40 entries in the parade so far. Trippe says you never know what you’re going to see.

"Some people arevery unique not just in what they choose to wear, but in the routines that they do. The Mazolas one year had a marching precision drill team with shopping carts."

There’s inevitably a dog with its fur dyed green—the ideas is to have as much fun as possible. Lee Worman, Irish musician, artist and host of The Gold Ring on KSMU for many years, is this year’s Grand Marshall.The parade started 29 years ago. Trippe was a co-founder. He had just moved to Springfield from Buffalo, NY, which had a big St. Patrick’s Day parade.

"When we asked around we were told that the Independent Marching Band was going to march from one end of the North Town Mall parking lot to the other, and that was the St. Patrick's Day parade. We said, 'no, well, that's great, that's fun, but where is the parade--the city parade, on the streets of the city?' And we were told, 'well, there isn't a city parade' and so that day some of us decided that the following year there would be a city parade."

The 29th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 2 pm tomorrow. It will travel west on Commercial from Benton and South on Boonville thru the Square. Again festivities begin on the square at 11. For more information, visit www.springfieldstpatsparade.org.