Fort Collins Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Party

Green beer on St. Patrick's Day
Green beer on St. Patrick’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While no one really needs an excuse to partake in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is providing CSU students with a pretty good one by naming Dr. Temple Grandin as Grand Marshal.

Grandin has been teaching students at CSU for 23 years and has made many notable achievements in that time.

She was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2010, has designed humane livestock handling systems used worldwide and was even the subject of an award winning biographical film, making her more than qualified for the Grand Marshal’s spot of honor in a horse drawn carriage.

“I come from back East where St. Patrick’s Day is pretty big deal, so I always enjoy celebrating it,” Grandin said.

While the Lucky Joe’s parade might not be of the same magnitude as the annual New York parade, Saturday’s festivities should provide ample entertainment for the people of Fort Collins. The festivities will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At 10 a.m. the parade will begin on Walnut street and follow a course about one mile long. Some of the more than 90 entries include marching bands, floats featuring live bands and the one and only CAM the Ram.

Not the least enticing aspect of the parade is the promise of nice spring weather after many cold months.

“We usually have nice sunny weather which gives everyone a chance to come out after a long winter and watch a fun down home community parade,” said Peggy Lyle, event and entertainment director of the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association, which coordinates the parade.

Starting along with the parade and running past the parade’s end is a party in Old Town Square where people will be able to enjoy green beer to the tune of live Irish music.

Three different bands will be playing, including Gobs O’ Phun who will play traditional Irish music, The Commoners — a local “Irish Jam Rock” band — and TribU2, a U2 tribute band.

If green beer is not your St. Patrick’s Day drink of choice, beer from Odell’s, Irish whiskey and a variety of other beverages will also be available for party-goers that are of age.

Irish food, dancing and plenty of green, including treats like green cotton candy, will each contribute to the party’s Irish flair.

As the longest running event in historic downtown, the parade has a reputation for providing a fun and safe environment in which the Luck of the Irish can be properly celebrated and this year’s parade aims to be no different.

“All of the events are free, so we encourage anyone to come down and enjoy themselves,” Lyle said. “There will be something for everyone down here.”