ST. LOUIS — St. Patrick’s Day festivities have officially started in Dogtown with a neighborhood celebration on Thursday.
It’s a special weekend in Dogtown that the neighborhood in the making for months and even though it’s going to be gloomy, the organizers said nothing can bring down the luck of the Irish.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians kicked off the celebratory weekend with a mass honoring the Feast of St. Patrick at St. James the Greater Parish.
“This mass is really special because it kind of brings together everything. The Hibernians are about by professing our Irish Catholic faith and pride in our Irish history,” Publicity Chairman of The Ancient Order of Hibernians Jim Mohan said.
It was followed by corned beef and cabbage and tapping the first keg of Guinness for the weekend.
For Nancy Aarunski St. Patrick's Day is truly a special holiday, her grandfather came to the U.S. from Ireland decades ago.
“Oh, I think for me, it's my Irish roots. When we were younger, my mother had green everything, green pancakes, green coffee, everything was green. She really did it up. I just like to honor that. I do it in memory of my mom,” Aarunski said.
Just steps outside the church, the neighborhood is ready with shamrocks from curb to curb, tents and decorations where thousands of people will line up for the Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“This event has a huge economic impact on both the neighborhood and the actual city of St Louis because it brings a lot of people into this city,” Mohan said.
The parade will start at Oakland Avenue and dance all the way down Tamm Avenue to Manchester Avenue.
“We had a safety meeting two weeks ago with all the units and we understood the weather might be 'iffy.' We explained to them, it’s your call and we will make sure everything was safe. We have security marshals on board. We worked with the St. Louis Police Department, worked with the EMT's, fire safety so everyone is ready to go,” Mohan said.
It's something Barbara Krus said she can’t miss.
“We come here every year. It's such a family-oriented atmosphere and it's nice fun and relaxing. We get to see all of our friends that we're meeting here tonight and tomorrow,” Krus said.
There are a couple of things the Hibernians ask attendees to do:
Make sure to move your cars away from the parade route as they will be towing Friday morning. Also, be respectful to the neighborhood and the people who live there while you have fun.
Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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