Salt Lake City's 33rd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will wind through The Gateway shopping center on Saturday the ninth year for this parade route and organizers aren't planning any big surprises.
"The only thing that keeps changing is the weather," said parade co-chairman Joe Brown.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. March 12 in downtown Salt Lake City, at the corner of 400 West and 200 North, behind West High School. The route travels south to 50 North, then will jag west to Rio Grande Street. The parade will travel two blocks south down Rio Grande, through The Gateway, to 200 South. The parade ends at the corner of 200 South and 500 West.
After the parade, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., is the annual Siamsa (pronounced "SHAM-suh") party at The Gateway's Grand Hall at the Union Pacific Depot. Irish food, music, dancing and kids' games are part of the event.
This year's theme is "Come Back to Erin," which Brown said was chosen "to get people involved in the parade, maybe look back to the history, to the family tree, in Ireland."
Real Salt Lake, the state's Major League Soccer franchise, will be the parade's grand marshals and several team members will be riding in the parade, Brown said.
The parade began in 1979 as a way for "the people of Utah to acknowledge that the Irish did have a big part in bringing Salt Lake City together," Brown said.
That first parade boasted 86 entries, with legendary Tribune sports editor John Mooney as the grand marshal. In the past few years, the parade has featured more than 120 entries, including floats, bands, antique cars, Irish dancers on flatbed trucks, elected officials, and groups and families walking in green.
"It is pretty much the usual suspects MacNamara's Band will have a good entry," Brown said, referring to the satirical group that brings a comic touch to each year's parade.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
P The 33rd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place Saturday, March 12, starting at 10 a.m.
The parade starts at the corner of 400 West and 200 South, then will wind south through The Gateway shopping center.
The annual Siamsa party runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in The Gateway's Grand Hall at the Union Pacific Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City