The luck of the Irish is certainly with us this year as weather forecasters are calling for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s for St. Patrick's Day in Emmetsburg.
Thursday, March 15
The Junior Miss Pageant kicked off the week of festivities on Sunday, and the celebration continues this afternoon with an open house at St. Pat's Headquarters from 3 to 5 p.m. Enjoy a cup of Irish coffee and cookies.
Tonight, the St. Pat's Talent Show will showcase homegrown talent at the Emmetsburg High School auditorium starting at 8 p.m.
Friday, March 16
Try out your favorite recipe in the St. Pat's Cooking Contest, sponsored by the Robert Emmet Society. Drop your dish off at the Palo Alto County Extension Office basement between 8 and 9 a.m.; judging begins at 10 a.m. Chamber Bucks will be given as prizes.
Stick around for the Robert Emmet Irish Memorabilia Family History Social at 10:15 a.m.
Enjoy the VFW Fish Fry on Friday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. before heading over the high school auditorium for the annual Miss Shamrock Pageant. Seven young ladies will vie for the coveted title. Visiting queen Miss Iowa Jessica Pray will also perform.
At 9 p.m. the Ceili gets underway at the VFW Hall starting. Expect instrumental and vocal music as well as dancing and sing-a-longs.
St. Patrick's Day
Saturday, March 17
St. Patrick's Day dawns at 8:30 a.m. with the O'Round the Loch Scholarship Run. The event begins and ends at the Smith Wellness Center.
Throughout the morning, youngsters will have several opportunities for family fun. The sanctioned Pedal Tractor Pull for ages 4-11 will be held at Corrigan Hall at 9:30 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Living Proof, 913 Broadway, will play host to Kiracatures By Kira and face painting. At 11 a.m., send the kids over to the Riviera Theatre for the Juggler With The Yellow Shoes Show. Look for juggling, stilt walking, balloon artistry, and feats on the unicycle.
Chainsaw artist Jeff Klatt will set up operations on Courthouse Square starting at 11 a.m. Two of Klatt's art pieces will be auctioned off at the fire station starting at 6 p.m. Saturday night. Klatt will continue his artistry following the parade around 3 p.m.
Hungry yet? Dine like an Irishman at the Irish stew dinner served from 10:45 to 1 p.m. at the Multipurpose Senior Center. Food vendors will also be set up on the north side of Courthouse Square and other locations around town.
The Pre-Parade begins at 1 p.m. featuring several visiting dignitaries. According to Dave VanOosbree, parade organizer, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will make appearances in Saturday's parade. This is the fifteenth time in 18 years that Gov. Branstad has participated in a St. Pat's parade in Emmetsburg.
Other special guests scheduled to take part in Saturday's parade are 2012 Miss Iowa Jessica Pray, 2012 St. Pat's Grand Marshall Edna Nelson, 2012 Citizen of the Year Angie Beem, Congressman Steve King, Senator Jack Kibbie, Representative John Wittneben, and visiting Irish Dignitary Senator Maurice Cummins and his wife, Anne.
A special treat will be Anna Brennan singing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling."
The famous St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 1:30 p.m. VanOosbree says that entries currently number around 115. He attributes the increase in parade entries to the fair weather that is forecast for the weekend.
Six Irish families will march in the parade and the Shriners will bring their animal unit and dune buggies. One special feature of this year's parade is a fly-over of the "Bamboo Bomber," owned by Elmer Steier from Whittemore.
Following the parade, a social gathering of the clans and friends of Emmetsburg will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. at the fire station.
Kids can head back to the Riviera Theatre for a magic show at 3:30 p.m., and following the magic show, they can stick around for the movie "Rio," starting at 4:30 p.m. at the theatre.
Sunday, March 18
Two activities will bring St. Pat's Weekend to a close in Emmetsburg.
Enjoy a hot breakfast before taking in a trap shoot. The Rotary Pancake Breakfast will be serving from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the VFW.
The Palo Alto Gun Club is sponsoring a trap shoot from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at Sportsman Park north of Cylinder.