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Special to The PREVIEW
Last year, when it was discovered that the city had no plans to host its traditional St. Patrick’s parade, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church parishioners Jim and Becky Dorian took matters into their own hands. St. Patrick’s Day is the church’s patron feast day and no good Episcopalian is going to let that slide by without a joyous celebration.
This year, it has been confirmed that there is no downtown parade planned, so St. Patrick’s will be the place to be for fun family Irish entertainment. The event will take place Saturday, March 15, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in the St. Patrick’s parking lot located behind the church (225 S. Pagosa Blvd.).
And yes, there will be a parade! Perhaps it will be the shortest parade on record (across the St. Patrick’s parking lot), but it will include a St. Patrick’s float, a fire truck and perhaps other floats, as well.
The festival will also provide an opportunity for local nonprofits and private vendors to bring their information, flyers, coupons and crafts. St. Patrick’s will allow 10×10 booths for about 25 vendors and organizations, free of charge. Vendors will be expected to provide their own tents, tables and chairs, and will set up at 9 a.m. that morning. To reserve a space for your organization, call 731-5801.
Pagosa Mountain Morning Rotary Club will be on hand to sell St. Patrick’s Day souvenirs and there will be chili hot dogs and frito pie for sale for only $3, drinks $1. As a bonus, if you bring a bag of food items for the church’s food pantry, you can get a free soft drink.
“This is not meant to be a money making project,” says Jim Dorian. “We just want the community to come out and celebrate!”
Of course, in March, the weather can be cold and damp, or it may be sunny and mild. One never knows.
“We aren’t going to worry about the weather,” says Dorian. “Last year was windy and cold, but we still had a great turnout and everyone had a wonderful time. This year should be even better. This is a family event with no alcohol served. We want everyone in Pagosa to come and have fun.”
The festival will also feature Irish dancers, bagpipers, singers, games and a fun, festive atmosphere. Of course, St. Patrick’s Day in Pagosa Springs would just not be the same without Fr. Doug Neel dressed up as St. Patrick, wearing his green cope and mitre, riding on the St. Patrick’s float, leading the parade.
So, put Saturday, March 15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on your calendar. Bring the family and join the fun.