Expect plenty of green shamrocks — and sunshine — on Saturday as Salt Lake City’s Irish community puts on its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
It begins at 10 a.m. on the corner of 200 South and 500 East and proceeds west, ending at State Street. After the parade, the Siamsa festivities continue at the Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main. with Irish music, dance and food, according to the Utah Hibernian Society website.
The National Weather Service is predicting almost perfect weather for the event: sunny, with a high temperature near 51.
There are two grand marshals this year: Quinn Kiger-Good, a clinical social worker and the manager of the Fisher House, where families with loved ones in the Salt Lake Veterans Hospital can stay; and Colonel Rayfel Bachiller, a Fisher House champion who helps raise money for the facility.
While the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is celebrating its 41st year in 2019, it is an annual tradition that dates back more than a century. One of the first unofficial parades was held by Irish-American soldiers at Fort Douglas, established in 1862 . At that time, the discovery of silver, gold and lead near Park City brought a wave of Irishmen to Utah. The new immigrants hoped to strike it rich, while their home country was still reeling from the devastating Great Famine.
The first modern-day Irish march, held in 1978, was launched as a reaction to the Days of ’47 parades and celebrations, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organizers say. Today, the parade is no longer an act of defiance, but a way to include all Utahns who want to be Irish — even for just one day.