ST. LOUIS, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade and Run will be dedicated to St. Louis' First Responders and take place on Saturday, March 11, 2017. The First Responders unit in the parade will be led by Police Chief Sam Dotson and Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, along with representatives who are actively serving our communities and those who have been injured in the line of duty. St. Louis is very lucky to have these heroes, and the parade committee is encouraging all participants and spectators to use the official hashtag of the event, #stlucky, to thank them and share why they feel lucky this St. Patrick's Day.
St. Louis is also pleased to welcome our Irish guest of honor, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. As part of Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs, O'Connor is one of 29 ministers traveling abroad this St. Patrick's Day to celebrate all things Irish.
Leading the 48th annual parade will be parade founder and St. Louis Irish Consul Joseph McGlynn, Jr.; Parade Committee Chairperson Joe Milligan; guest of honor O'Connor; Honorary Parade Marshal John Saunders, president and chief executive officer, FleishmanHillard; Mayor Francis Slay; Parade Director Karen Lee; and other dignitaries.
The parade, also known as St. Louis' "Rite of Spring," has had more than 350,000 spectators in the past. This year it will feature more than 130 units, including a Marine color guard from the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment; giant, cartoon character helium-filled balloons, floats, bands and more than 5,000 marchers.
The parade steps off at noon from 20th and Market Streets and proceeds east on Market to Broadway, and then south on Broadway where it will disband at Clark Street. Market Street will be closed at 7:30 a.m. from Compton to Broadway; parade unit staging will take place from Compton to 18th Street at that time.
The 39th Annual Michelob ULTRA St. Patrick's Day Parade Run
St. Louis' largest locally organized run will precede the parade at 9 a.m. It covers a five mile course that begins on Broadway in front of Ballpark Village and concludes at 8th and Market Streets. Runners will then be directed to the Michelob ULTRA Runners Village at 7th and Walnut Streets. Ballpark Village will also be the site of this year's Irish Village featuring a live band, food and beverages.
The parade committee is very grateful to all of its sponsors, including Anheuser-Busch. "From the very first run 39 years ago, Anheuser-Busch was there supporting our efforts," McGlynn said.
More than 8,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair racers have participated in the past and will compete again for prizes in 13 different age categories for both male and female competitive runners. This year's run will also bring back the popular "Best Costume" award competition where individuals and teams can show off their best Irish-themed outfits. Irish potatoes and St. Patrick driving out the snakes have been featured in the past – the runners' creativity is their only limit.
Runners may register online at: www.stpatsrun.com. The entry fee is $32 in February, with increases in March. Past top finishers will be issued special bib numbers and be positioned at the front of the pack.
The Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark is the official hotel of the St. Patrick's Day Run and Parade. For information on special St. Patrick's Day Parade and Run room packages, visit the hotel's "Hotel Specials" page of its website www.hiltonstlouis.com or call 314-421-1776.
The Shamrock Village opens at 9 a.m. on Parade Day at the Aloe Plaza across from Union Station on Market Street and closes at 4 p.m. The Village will feature a Main Stage and food and beverage booths. Starting at 9 a.m. some of the unique inflatable balloons that will be in the parade will begin inflating at Aloe Plaza as part of the pre-parade activities.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Michelob ULTRA St. Patrick's Day Parade Run celebration kicks off Friday night, March 10, at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, 1 South Broadway, with cocktails, dinner and dancing. For cost and further information, call 314-241-PATS or visit our website at www.irishparade.org.
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SOURCE The Metropolitan St. Patrick's Day Parade In St. Louis, Inc.