02-12-2012, 08:48 AM #1
St. Patrick's Parade on 30A 3/16/12
Why wait until St. Patrick's day to drink?
Big changes are in place for the Fifth annual 30A St. Patrick's Parade March 16, at 3 p.m. Forming on Scenic 30A near The Preserve, the parade heads westbound ending at Gulf Place.
The event began as a small parade in 2008 and has now grown to a parade plus festival complete with green beer, Guinness sponsored banners, rocking entertainment and an Irish good time.
2012 is a banner year for the parade, bringing in a highly acclaimed Celtic band, North Carolina based Ceol Leinn, pronounced "key-ol lane-ya", which is Gaelic for "music with us."
The Grand Marshal of the parade will be Jac McTighe, who follows previous Grand Marshals Fire Chief Rick Talbot, Commissioner Cecila Jones, Sheriff Michael Adkinson and Deputy Fire Chief Sean Hughes.
“We are so delighted to have Ceol Leinn this year, along with Jac McTighe as Grand Marshal,” said Paul Vizard, event founder. “The festival entertainment portion of the event has grown tremendously, and we expect a packed green at Gulf Place this year, so bring a chair and come early. We are also very grateful for our main sponsors of Gulf Place, Artists at Gulf Place, and businesses at Gulf Place, along with Andrews and Arnsdorf, and hope to add more closer to the event.”
Up for grabs again is the Best in Parade award, won in 2011 by Lifeguard Realty, and in past years by Stinkys Fishcamp and JC’s off the Hook. Businesses are encouraged to enter well-decorated cars trucks or floats to vie over the coveted award. The parade judges’ table is appropriately situated in Blue Mountain Beach at the halfway point. The Best in Parade award ceremony will take place at Gulf Place.
At Gulf Place after the parade will be food, drinks, and product vendors, face painting, and entertainment from 4 p.m. onward with Irish Dancers, and Celtic Band Ceol Leinn. Five lucky people will also find a pot of gold, as there will be three gold Celtic necklaces tossed to onlookers during the parade and two more at Gulf Place during the entertainment. One leprechaun will be slipping around the jigging feet. If he's caught, you just might find that pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow.
Fort Walton Beach's own Drake Irish Dancers will kick it up a notch and perform to their own brand of old country sounds, later to be joined by Ceol Leinn for a jigging good time where merriment will bring the level up once more.
Follow the beaten trail to where Miss Lucille's Gossip Parlor transforms ordinary beer into the magical green variety of suds that can only be appreciated by jocular Irish lovers around the globe. Large Guinness banners are available for sponsor spots, which will be displayed at Gulf Place. Contact for price and availability.
Vendor table spaces are still available, and businesses are encouraged to contact to be a sponsor, or be a vendor, and promote their business during the parade; details at www.30aparade.com. Decorate your car, truck, golf cart, and enter the parade today at www.30aparade.com.
Bicycles are welcome on the bike path, as 30A is not closed during the parade.
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