Irish eyes are smiling this St. Patrick's Day because the holiday falls on Saturday this year for the two area parades - one in Brainerd and one in Crosslake.
The downtown Brainerd St. Patrick's Day parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, featuring an Irish bagpiper, "Luck of the Irish" royalty, fire engines and more surprises.
The downtown Brainerd parade route will begin on South Seventh Street at Maple Street, head north one block, turn east on Laurel Street for two blocks, then north on South Ninth Street one block, then left or west on Front Street for two blocks before ending back on South Seventh Street.
New this year will be a treasure hunt for a gold medallion. Watch for clues in the St. Patrick's Day ads in the Brainerd Dispatch throughout the week.
Taylor Babineau gripped a large bundle of green balloons last year before the start of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Brainerd. The Brainerd parade begins 1 p.m. Saturday while the Crosslake parade begins at 2 p.m. Brainerd Dispatch/File photo
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The grand prize for the medallion hunt will be a night at Rapid River Lodge with four water park passes. In addition, children are invited to have their faces painted and enter a children's costume contest. Registration for the children's costume contest will be at noon at the stage near the judges' station. Grand prize for the children's costume contest is a suite at the Lodge with four water park passes.
For more information about the Brainerd parade, call Brainerd Community Action at 829-5278 or parade chairman Steve Shepherd at 829-4835.
The Crosslake St. Patrick's Day parade will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Old Log Landing (by the Crosslake Fire Hall) on Route 66. The parade route follows Route 66 South, past Reeds Market and, new this year, the parade will continue to its end at Town Square. There will be a shuttle service provided by the Lakes Express to shuttle parade participants from Whitefish Lodge and Suites parking lot to the parade start location. Last shuttle run will be at 1:30 p.m.
Crosslake Lucky buttons are available for $6 from Crosslake, Brainerd or Pequot Lakes chamber offices as well as various chamber member businesses. Many button specials will be sponsored at Crosslake businesses on Saturday. Raffle drawings will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday in Town Square.
The Crosslake St. Patrick's Day parade is hosted by the Crosslake office of the Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce. Contact Jessica Scott to sign up for the parade at (218) 568-8911.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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