Photo Nick Schnelle.
Dogtown St. Patrick's Day 2017.
If you're one of the many St. Louisans who treats St. Patrick's Day like a second Christmas, you'll want to listen up — because changes are coming to the beloved celebration in 2018.
Organizers are working to coordinate between the city's two major St. Patrick's events, since they both fall on the same day this year. They're also hoping that a time change will make the bigger one, in Dogtown, a wee bit less drunk and a wee bit more kid-friendly.
An earlier start time for Dogtown's parade, the organizers say, "could provide a more 'family friendly' environment, where parade watchers could focus on enjoying the parade itself, and not be caught up in the 'party atmosphere' that surrounded the event at its usual midday start time."
The local Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Catholic lay organization that heads the annual parade through Dogtown, is teaming up with non-profit Dogtown United to "improve the operations and efficiency of all events" on St. Patrick's Day, the two said in a press release.
According to the release, the two organizations are creating a new event, the Dogtown Irish Festival, with the aim of highlighting the neighborhood's spirit and history.
The Annual Ancient Order of Hibernians Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, which runs along Tamm Avenue in Dogtown, will then move to 10 a.m. rather than its usual 12:30 p.m. start time.
Public safety officials requested that the parade begin earlier this year because it lands on the same day as the downtown parade, which is traditionally held on a Saturday. This year St. Patrick's Day is a Saturday, which put the two on a potential collision course.
To avoid conflicts, the downtown parade will push its usual start time back an hour to 1 p.m., the release said.
As the holiday gets closer, we'll have more details about what the Dogtown Irish Festival will entail. In the mean time, why not start your St. Patrick's Day countdown? No matter what changes are made, both the Hibernians and the Dogtown crew suggest they intend to keep the celebration strong.
"Millions of Americans celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick every year," the press release states. "However, if you ask any citizen in the greater Saint Louis metropolitan area, they will tell you that perfect place to be to see the true Irish spirt on display on March 17 is in the Dogtown neighborhood, the 'greenest' piece of real estate this side of Dublin."