Alaska's Shamrock City celebrates St. Paddy's Day

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009

For 18 years Soldotna has been pushing an early spring with their annual St. Patrick's Day Parade thanks to the City's patron leprechaun Michael Sweeney. "It was a perfect parade this year," Sweeney told the Dispatch, "The weather was great, not sloppy and just cold enough to keep the cars clean. The first year we had the old fire truck in the parade and a couple of pick-ups and that was about it, but this year the Clarion told me they gave out over 950 papers with our Sweeney's logo on the wrapper so I figure we had over a thousand watching or participating this year," added Sweeney.

For the last few years Kalifornsky Elementary 1st grade transportation class has joined in the annual event and it has become a highlight of the parade, "The kids had so much fun this year it was great and we've had a lot of feed back about the great walking floats the kids made this year," said Sweeney. For the second year Sweeney drove his royal blue Escalade in the parade and says that blue also has a great Irish tradition, "Blue is a very important Irish color historically and you'll find it in all the family plaids, but one day I may paint it green to keep with tradition," he laughed. The traditional corn beef and cabbage dinner at the Soldotna Senior Center was a sold out again this year and reliable sources report it was the best dinner and service ever, thanks to the seniors who cooked and the young people who served and collected the tips.



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