One of the youngest troupe members in last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Bannon Beaty, above, will be this year’s Grand Marshal.
The calender might have St. Patrick’s Day listed as Thursday, March 17, but St. John will get its Irish on at noon on Saturday, March 19.
Quiet Mon Pub owner Kelly Krall and Mary Pat Brown of Connections are hosting the 14th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at high noon on March 19. The parade will feature a full line up of dancers, animals, hula hoopers, jugglers, the famous Middle Aged Majorettes and much more.
Traffic from the roundabout to the Cruz Bay Fire Station and from the roundabout to FirstBank will be blocked off for at least a few hours.
“We meet at the tennis courts around 11:30 a.m.,” said Brown. “We have a good number of participants this year and anticipate the parade will run a good half-hour or more.”
So forget about driving anywhere in Cruz Bay, throw on something green and join the fun. Quiet Mon will open around 10 a.m. for people to stake out a good parade viewing seat on the deck, or just bring a chair and get a spot on the sidewalk.
Bellows International is sponsoring the day’s Guinness and Heineken specials and Quiet Mon’s Van Cole will be whipping up corned beef and cabbage and Reuben sandwiches. So eat and drink like the Irish do while watching fire trucks, steel pan players, majorettes and more saunter down the Cruz Bay street.
Brown and Krall started the annual parade 14 years ago when the Quiet Mon Pub first settled into its position as a premier Cruz Bay watering hole.
“We started when the Quiet Mon Pub got established about 15 years ago and we decided we wanted to do a parade,” said Brown. “There was a group from the church who did a parade prior to us, but a lot of them left island and it just faded out. We decided to pick up the baton.”
“We are Irish and can’t get to our home towns for the St. Patty’s Day Parade, so we started one here,” Brown said.
The first parade back in 1997, saw a few participants walk a few feet down the street, Brown added.
“That first year we had 17 participants who traveled an estimated 1,700 feet and it lasted 17 minutes,” she said.
This year Brown expects everyone from the Cruz Bay Fire Department to the American Legion to take part.
“It’s going to be one of the best parades we’ve ever had,” she said.
While the parade this year is being hosted after the official holiday — instead of its traditional day (the Saturday before St. Patty’s Day) — the day also coincides with the Ninth Annual Johnnie Walker St. John Blues Festival which runs from March 16 though 20.
“Instead of having the parade the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day, that weekend is the Blues Festival so there will be a lot of people here,” said Krall. “I think it will be a great event to have in the afternoon for people to chill out ahead of the Blues Festival in Coral Bay that night.”
Have a great costume or car to show off in front of Cruz Bay? Anyone is welcome to join the parade. While Krall and Brown would appreciate a heads-up from people looking to join the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, if someone doesn’t get the chance to call, that is okay too.
“Anyone interested in participating is welcome but we would appreciate a heads-up to any new participants so we can assemble the parade in advance of its beginning,” said Brown. “But if you don’t call, just show that morning at the tennis courts and we’ll figure it out.”
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshall is Bannon Beatty. Krall is looking for someone with a convertible car to transport the Grand Marshall and his troupe. Contact her at the Quiet Mon Pub at 779-4799 to donate the use of a car or to join the parade.
And while the parade is on Saturday, Quiet Mon will be celebrating on Thursday, March 17, as well. Stop by the pub after 12:30 p.m. for corned beef and cabbage and Reuben sandwiches to get in the mood for Saturday’s festivities.