St Patrick’s claims world’s shortest parade

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
On Saturday, March 17, beginning at 11 a.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will hold its annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a parade that extends from one end of the church parking lot to the other.
According to Pagosa Springs tradition, the parade is led by a trailer in which St. Patrick himself sits enthroned on his bishop’s chair. Children are invited to fill the trailer wearing their most outlandish St. Patrick’s garb.
A bagpipe band dressed in kilts marches alongside, playing traditional Irish and Scottish tunes. Following the St. Patrick’s trailer is a fire truck that will be available for children to peruse following the parade. Of course, other participants are welcome to join in. There is no contest; it’s just for fun.
If your organization or individuals would like to participate in the parade, email the church and reserve a spot. Plan to meet at the north end of the church parking lot at 10:45 a.m. The parade will begin at 11:30 a.m.
In addition to the parade, organizations are invited to set up booths alongside the parking lot. These booths can be set up to offer information about your nonprofit organization or to sell items. There is no rental fee to procure a space, but reservations must be made in advance by emailing or by calling the church office at 903-5801 and speaking to Lynne McCrudden.
Other fun activities such as fly-tying and casting lessons will be on hand, along with great Irish music provided by NightSong Trio. A free lunch will be provided by the St. Patrick’s Men’s Group. Donations will be accepted to benefit the St. Patrick’s Food Box Ministry. Beer and Irish coffee will be for sale, as well as nonalcoholic beverages.
“We have no absolute proof that this is actually the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s, “but we feel fairly confident that if it were any shorter, it likely would not be considered a parade. If you blink, you will miss it!”
St. Patrick’s Annual Irish Festival was established when the annual Pagosa Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown was canceled. Weather is always a questionable factor in March, so it is difficult to plan a large parade. However, since St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church feels that this day is a day to celebrate its patron saint, they decided to have a parade across their parking lot and call it the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“We have enjoyed some wonderful weather and we have had a couple of years when we had to shut down early due to winter storms,” said Neel, “but we Pagosans are a hearty group. St. Patrick’s Day is just not the same without a parade. We hope everyone will come out and enjoy the fun, rain, snow, or shine!”
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

This story was posted on February 22, 2018.