Cold weather has little effect of 14th St. Patrick's Day Parade

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Wednesday was a great day for the Irish, a little bit on the chilly side, but a great day for the 14th Annual St. Patrick's Day parade down the Spur Highway in Soldotna.

"It's a great turn out this year, maybe not as many motorcycles, but we have dog mushers and more kids than ever marching from K-Beach Elementary," said Mike Sweeney, the founder of the 1st St. Patrick's Day parade ever held on the Kenai Peninsula.


Kelly Keating-Griebel demonstrates the proper way to treally enjoy a corn beef and cabbage dinner at the Soldotna Senior Center.

Other new entries this year included the Soldotna Lions, pushing a bed to remind everyone of the only bed race on the Peninsula, Shetland ponies and crash dummies promoting boating safety.

The traditional St. Patrick's Day corn beef and cabbage feed and auction at the Soldotna Senior Citizens Center followed the parade. "Today is the day that everyone is Irish. St. Patrick's Day," said Michelle Glaves, executive director of the Soldotna Chamber.


Self taught 11-year-old Irish River Dancer Aaron Hawbold delighted a standing room only crowd at the Soldotna Senior Center at the traditional corn beef and cabbage feed last week.

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce had a sellout crowd of 150 for the 13th Annual Irish Dinner and Auction. The Soldotna Senior Center hosted the dinner and cooked up over 100 pounds of corned beef, 100 pounds of potatoes, 60 pounds of cabbage and 50 pounds of carrots, followed by dessert to make a delicious Irish feast.

Karen Cowan of KC & the Bose Beat kept the Irish tunes flowing and the crowd was treated to some wonderful Irish dances by Soldotna's own Irish Dancer, 11 year old Aaron Hawbold who has great talent and has been Irish Dancing for the past 8 years. The Auction was the best ever with over 150 donated items from area businesses. Everything from balloon people to a cruise for 2 on Holland America.


Tom Redmond offers children a lucky touch from the Irish at last week's St. Patrick's Day parade in Soldotna.

Following the auction, the Fireworks by Griz, always turned out to be a great crowd pleaser that met everyone's expectations.

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce had many donors to the event. The major sponsors for the fireworks were ConocoPhillips, Wells Fargo, Homer Electric Association and ERA Aviation. There also were over 150 donated items. " Our thanks to everyone who participated in making this day a great memory for Soldotna," added Glaves.


Bundled up to stay warm, hundreds of families pretended to be Irish and maybe get some lucky candy last week during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Soldotna.

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