St. Patrick’s Irish Festival puttin’ on the green

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
The St. Patrick’s Day festivities at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church are shaping up, with the Irish festival set to include face painting, a live Irish concert, Irish libations, free food, the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade and more.

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. It is not only the day church members honor their patron saint, but also a day to wear your brightest green St. Paddy’s attire, kick up your heels in an Irish jig and celebrate.
On March 17, beginning at 11 a.m., St. Patrick’s Day will begin in earnest on the parking lot of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.
“This is shaping up to be our best Irish festival yet,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s.
The parking lot will be lined with booths of vendors and nonprofits. There will be a face painter, a live Irish concert, Irish libations, free food and, of course, the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The parade is led by a trailer filled with young leprechauns and St. Patrick himself, holding court over the proceedings. There is a piper band led by our own Jim Dorian, a fire truck (later available for kids to peruse), a few vintage automobiles and (last but not least) a garbage truck. Don’t blink. You might miss it.
The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. on the north end of the parking lot and concludes on the south end of the parking lot. Others who wish to participate in the parade should arrive by 10:45 a.m. Parking will be available at the hospital next door to the church.
The NightSong Trio, with Jessica Peterson on flute, Heidi Tanner on violin and Sally Neel at the piano, will present a 30-minute concert of Irish jigs in the church. There will be a class in fly-casting and fly-tying offered by the Men of St. Patrick’s, and free food will be available (donations gratefully accepted) in the parish hall.
“We really aren’t out to make money at this festival,” said festival organizer Jim Dorian. “The idea is to offer the community a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Any proceeds will be given to the St. Patrick’s Food Box Ministry.”
If you are a vendor, there are still a few slots left to set up a booth. The space is free of charge. Vendors must supply their own table or tent. For more information, contact Lynne McCrudden at or call 731-5801.
The community is invited to come and enjoy the fun. And don’t forget to wear your favorite, most outlandish, Irish green.

This story was posted on March 13, 2018.