Saturday, Springfield goes Irish.
The 39th Annual Springfield St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place Saturday on Commercial Street and in downtown Springfield. The deadline to register to be a part of the parade is tomorrow.
The parade’s route will start near Locust and Commercial Street, proceed down Commercial, turn onto Boonville and then proceed through Park Central Square before dispersing at Elm Street.
In addition to the parade that organizers say is open to anyone who wants to be “Irish for a day”, there are other activities throughout the day for families to enjoy including an “Irish Pet Contest”.
The pet contest will be held at the historic Jefferson Avenue Footbridge on Commercial Street starting at 12:30 p.m.. There will be prizes given out for the most original costume, best talent & stage presence and the highest “fun factor.” Registration for the contest can take place until noon Saturday, but you can register in advance on the Parade’s website.
The parade’s grand marshal is Springfield City Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson, who is serving in honor of her grandmother Annie Lee (Swiney) Woolsey. Ms. Woolsey was “an Irish lass with twinkling green eyes, red hair, and the beauty of Ireland in her smile and soul” according to the Parade’s website.
“It’s pretty darn exciting,” Councilwoman Ferguson told OI. “I’ve never been a grand marshal before I was as shocked as could be when they asked me. I’ve been practicing my waving!”