The St. Patrick's Day Parade once again will roll through downtown starting at noon Saturday. And barring inclement weather, thousands of green-clad revelers are expected to turn out for this popular celebration. The parade route remains the same. It will form up at the Horace Mann parking lot and surrounding area. The parade will travel west on Jefferson Street to Fifth Street; proceed south on Fifth to Capitol Avenue where it will turn east, then head north on Sixth Street to the reviewing stand at Adams Street, (this is the family-friendly area) and then to Washington Street where it turns east to return to the Horace Mann parking lot. According to Debbie Cimarossa Thompson, vice president of the parade board, the parade will have nearly 100 entries including three marching bands, a dance team, a mix of community organizations and businesses with floats and decorated trailers and of course, political candidates. The theme of this year's event is "A Tribute to the Irish Family," and parade floats and entries were urged to incorporate the theme. Speaking of family, the Ryan family of Springfield, a longstanding parade participant, has been honored as the parade grand marshal. Proceeds from the parade will go to the charity of choice of the grand marshal. The Ryan family's charity is the American Business Club of Springfield and the club's program that provides adaptive tricycles (Amtrykes) to those with mobility challenges to help them maintain their independence. Streets on the parade route will close by 8 a.m. Saturday. Jefferson, Washington and Sixth as well as Capitol will reopen at approximately 3 p.m. Fifth Street between Jefferson and Monroe will remain closed until 6 a.m. Sunday for the annual St. Patrick's Day Street Party.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
Noon Saturday, March 11