World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade a short walk well taken

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
Fr. Doug Neel plays the part of St. Patrick in the St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church World’s Shortest Parade on March 17 in the church parking lot. Festivities begin at 11 am.

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
Have you always thought it would be fun to march in a parade, but questioned the idea of a long walk on concrete in the blazing sun? Well, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church has the perfect solution.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is a short walk across the parking lot in brisk weather, guaranteed not to put a strain on the walking shoes.
On March 17 at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., at 11 a.m., folks will gather on the church parking lot to welcome St. Patrick himself sitting in his bishop’s chair atop a trailer filled with fun-loving, would-be leprechauns wearing their Irish greenery. St. Patrick will be heralded by a bagpipe band led by local piper Jim Dorian. What follows will likely be a decorated fire truck from the Pagosa Fire Protection District, a trash truck, a classic car or two and whoever else shows up to get in on the fun. It is truly a parade that is meant to tickle your funny bone and inspire your Irish whimsy.
“This is Pagosa Springs at its finest,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s who plays the part of St. Patrick in the parade. “This community does know how to have good, clean fun and celebrate all that is good about this wonderful place. We hope we will have lots of folks come and join in this celebration of our patron saint.”
Included in the fun will be a performance by the NightSong Trio (flutist Jessica Peterson, violinist Heidi Tanner and pianist Sally Neel), who will play some of your favorite jigs. The parking lot will be lined with booths that will include nonprofits and local artists. Free food will be served in the parish hall, provided by St. Patrick’s Men’s Group. Donations for the food will be applied to the St. Patrick’s Food Box Ministry. There will also be folks from St. Patrick’s Fly-Tying Group on hand to help you with your fly-casting and fly-tying techniques.
For information on how to reserve space for a booth for your organization or your craft, or to join the parade, contact Lynne McCrudden at or call 731-5801. Booth space is free.
Don’t miss out on this fun Irish tradition. The party begins at 11 a.m. and the parade commences at 11:30 a.m. Don’t forget to wear green.

This story was posted on March 6, 2018.