September’s St. Pat’s Parade Planned for Sept. 20
There are certain things that happen in Leadville to signal that autumn is on its way: the kids go back to school, the leaves start to change – quickly, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held. Wait, what?! Isn’t St. Patrick’s Day in March?
Well, Leadville likes to celebrate its Irish heritage TWICE a year. Besides March weather can be cold and snowy for a proper parade, so why not do it again the third Saturday in March?!
On Saturday, Sept. 20 the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in September starts at Noon at the top of Capitol Hill (in front of the Mining Museum), and marches down historic Harrison Avenue and straight into the Silver Dollar Saloon, Leadville’s Irish bar. And the Queen City Pipe Band will be returning to provide all of the lively bagpipe music that spectators have come to expect!
This one-of-a-kind Colorado happening is a spin-off of the true Irish holiday celebrated six months earlier on March 17. Today, it’s one of the Cloud City’s favorite traditions.
The great thing about September’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is that you never really know what’s going to happen. Some celebrations are unforgettable. Like the year, three bagpipe bands made the trip up. These musicians usually play the bigger parades for the real St. Patrick’s Day, but in September pure Irish luck prevails and the celebration is on! That year, during the procession’s usual stop in front of the Lake County Courthouse, all three bands played “Amazing Grace”. There wasn’t a dry eye on Harrison Avenue as the drums and bagpipes echoed across a perfect fall day, aspens ablaze amid Colorado’s two highest peaks.
Other the years it seemed that the parade might not happen at all due to a lack of funds or clashing Irish personalities. There was one year when the parade marched a reverse route, starting at the south end of the avenue; it didn’t catch on though. Not only were people confused about where to meet before the parade, but the procession also had a hard time marching past the saloon with all the good Irish whiskey!
All marchers are welcome, meet in front of the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum on W. 9thStreet just before noon. Don’t miss “Amazing Grace” as the parade stops in front of the courthouse. After the parade, the Queen City Pipe Band will play some great Irish tunes at the Silver Dollar Saloon. And Tony will be serving up some corned beef sandwiches as well. So, grad your shillelagh, pull on that green sweater and head up to Leadville for September’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Slainte!