On the March

The largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade west of the Mississippi started 49 years ago in the most unassuming way possible: Three men drinking in a bar decided there should be a parade, so they took to the streets. In the half-century since, Denver's St. Patrick's Day Parade has become a massive undertaking, with over 200 entrants in this year’s Forever Green-themed parade on March 12. And it's still run entirely by volunteers. “We get something like a quarter of a million people in LoDo,” says Linda Garrison, chair of the parade's PR subcommittee. “Which is crazy.”

This year, the voting for Queen Colleen was so close that there will be a court for the first time. The winner, by the slimmest of margins, is Keriayn O’Donnell, a senior at Colorado State University; she and her attendants will be joined in the parade by dozens of floats, Irish dancers, traditional bands, clowns, horses, Shriners, military honorees and more.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. at 27th and Blake streets. From there, it travels down Blake to 17th, then down to Wynkoop and back over to 19th, down to Wewatta, and across to the Coors Field parking lot. For more information and a route map, visit www.denverstpatricksdayparade.org.
Sat., March 12, 10 a.m., 2011

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Kiernan Maletsky is a former Westword intern. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky