ST. PATRICK’S PARADE & FESTIVAL SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2016

   Updates : Grand Marshal

Event Information
03/13/2015 09:14:24 AM

Event InformationFor Immediate Release
January 16, 2015 Chaz Adams, Public Affairs Manager
(954) 828-4748 / chazadams@fortlauderdale.gov Angela DiPietro, Public Information Specialist
(954) 828-6719 / adipietro@fortlauderdale.gov

Get Your Green On! Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival Marches into Downtown on March 14
Arrive Early, Grab a Spot, and Enjoy Activities for the Entire Family!

Fort Lauderdale - Get ready to paint the town green!  On Saturday, March 14th, the Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick's Parade and Festival returns to the streets of downtown featuring fun and excitement for the entire family!
  This free event has quickly grown into one of Fort Lauderdale's largest and most anticipated festivals, attracting thousands of spectators for a one-of-a-kind celebration of all things Irish.

This year, the pageantry and excitement begins bright and early at 7:30 am with the Shamrock Run, a 4K race starting from Huizenga Plaza (Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue) and continuing down Las Olas Boulevard to the Intracoastal Bridge and back.  There will also be a series of “Lucky Leprechaun Dashes” for kids from 8:30 to 9:00 am.

Festivities continue throughout the morning hours at Huizenga Plaza with live music from the Joe Dougherty Band, a drum line competition at 10 am showcasing top percussionists from local high schools, and plenty of fun and games for the kids.  At 11 am, join Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler for an official welcome and a traditional Irish Blessing.  Then, it’s time for the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in South Florida.

The St. Patrick’s Parade begins at noon and travels west along Las Olas Boulevard from S.E. 5th Avenue to Las Olas Riverfront. Led by Grand Marshal Doug Eagon, President of Stiles Corporation, the colorful parade will feature more than 100 decorative floats, pipe and drum corps, classic automobiles, bagpipers, marching bands, animals, Irish dancers, street performers, scout troops, local sports teams, Veterans groups, and so much more.

Following the parade, stick around for the best Irish celebration in town at the St. Patrick’s Festival, which runs until 7:00 pm at Huizenga Plaza and along the Riverwalk. Highlights will include live bands, Irish dancers, interactive entertainment, and cultural attractions.  In addition, the festival will feature live performances by Celtic Bridge, the Joe Dougherty Band, the Aranmore Academy of Irish Dance, the Fineans, the Drake School of Irish Dance and more!

At 5:30 pm, get ready for the ultimate U2 experience as the City of Fort Lauderdale welcomes U2BYUV to the St. Patrick’s Festival for an exclusive engagement!  Led by front man Michael Schmidt, this nationally acclaimed group will leave fans speechless with their honest, authentic performances.  The band’s intense, action-packed sets feature U2 favorites ranging from the early days of “Boy” to U2’s latest album “Songs of Innocence.” 

In addition to outstanding entertainment, families and youngsters will love the festival's expanded Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, gigantic slides, pony rides, a trackless train, face painting, a petting zoo, mechanical rides, and much more!

The festivities will also include exhibitor booths, arts and crafts, souvenirs, and plenty of your favorite Irish food and beverages.

“One of the main reasons the City of Fort Lauderdale brought the St. Patrick's Parade & Festival back in 2010 after a 20-year hiatus was to provide downtown businesses with an added economic boost,” said Mayor Seiler.  “Each year, the St. Patrick’s event attracts thousands of residents, locals, and tourists, who enjoy the festivities while spending time and money at our downtown shops, restaurants, retail, cultural and entertainment venues.  By hosting the event on March 14th, our downtown businesses will benefit twice -- once from the huge crowds that will attend the Parade & Festival and again on March 17th when locals and visitors come out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It is truly a win/win for everyone.”

On Friday, March 13th, Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors are invited to join Mayor Seiler as he renews a legendary tradition when he paints a green stripe on Las Olas Boulevard to ceremoniously mark the route for the St. Patrick's Parade.

The “Street Striping” ceremony and St. Patrick’s event preview will take place noon in front of Huizenga Plaza, located at the corner of Andrews Avenue and Las Olas Boulevard.

Highlights of the ceremony will include remarks from Mayor Seiler, the St. Patrick's Committee Chair and event officials; the official introduction of Parade Grand Marshal Doug Eagon; an event preview; and special appearances by a bagpiper and the world’s tallest leprechaun.  The festivities will culminate when Mayor Seiler takes to the street with a paint roller in hand to lay down a green stripe on Las Olas Boulevard.

For more information about the Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick's Parade and Festival, call the event hotline at (954) 828-5985 or visit www.ftlaudirishfest.com.  
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