Come out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the town of Eureka Springs on Saturday, March 15th. Starting at 2:00pm, the 21st annual St. Paddy Parade will make its way down Spring Street filled with marching bands, floats and anyone dressed in green who wants to participate. This parade goes all out with decorated vehicles, animals in costume, horses and traditional Irish bagpipe music. The party continues throughout the day with events like tailgates and Irish music blaring through the streets.
The first Eureka Springs St. Patrick’s Day parade began back in 1995. Archie Ryan and George Christman got together to launch the first official parade after the Eureka Springs Scots Basketball team was recognized by radio station KRLK-FM with a sponsored parade. Archie Ryan has held the title of grand marshal for the parade many times throughout the years and is recognized as the Founder. He was in charge of organizing the parade each year until it was handed over to the Chamber of Commerce in 2000.
The Kaptain’s Klub of Eureka Springs is an organization of local business professionals and state and county elected officials who promote the Eureka Springs parade. The grand marshal of the parade is chosen from this group. They can be seen walking the parade route in tuxedos draped with a green sash, carrying beads and walking with a flower cane. The Kaptain’s Klub hosts two socials, one before the parade begins and one after the parade ends. The pre-parade social consists of a toast to all the dignitaries while the post parade is an Irish tailgate for all the parade participants. The tailgate serves corn beef and cabbage and green beer.
Another tradition on St. Patrick’s Day is the Eureka Springs All Star Kazoo and Free Form Marching Band parade. Each year on March 17th, a band of marching kazoos make their way down the streets stopping at local bars from the Pied Piper back to Chelsea’s. Everyone regardless of musical talent is invited to join in the parade. The only requirement is to bring your kazoo and be ready to have fun. The band gathers at Chelsea’s at 2:00pm. Once back at Chelsea’s, the Skinny Gypsies will perform followed by a performance in the evening by the Ariels.
Make a weekend out of your visit and check out Arsenic and Old Lace Bed and Breakfast. The inn is located within walking distance of all the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Guests can choose from five suite rooms each complete with modern amenities to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. From the two-story floor to ceiling windows in the Tree Top Suite to the private balcony overlooking the garden in the Chantilly Rose Room, the rooms are each unique and beautiful. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning in the dining room with fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies or other snacks being offered throughout the day for guest’s convenience. Whether it is a girl’s weekend away, family reunion or a weekend away for two, be sure to check out all the luxuries offered at Arsenic and Old Lace.
Photo courtesy of John