St. Patty’s Practice and Cemetery Tours
Practice Parade on Saturday
There are certain things that happen in Leadville to signal that autumn is underway: the kids go back to school, the leaves start to change – quickly, and the St. Patrick’s Day Practice Parade is held. Wait, what?! Isn’t St. Patrick’s Day in March?
Well, when it comes to celebrating its Irish heritage, America’s highest city likes to do it 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?!
And in 2019, this quirky Leadville happening will be on Saturday, Sept. 14, starting at high Noon at the top of Capitol Hill (in front of the Mining Museum on W. 9th). From the top of capitol hill, marchers head south down historic Harrison Avenue, where they pause at the Lake County Courthouse for a moving rendition of “Amazing Grace,” finally, continuing down Leadville’s main street and into the Silver Dollar Saloon.
“This year Leadville’s St. Patrick’s Day Practice Parade will feature the homegrown Mt. Massive Youth Pipe Band, under the direction of Colin McFee,” stated Parade Organizer Luke Finken.
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 yearly gathering started back in 1978 when two Leadville men walked into a pub in Nebraska and looking around, they couldn’t believe their eyes: A St. Patrick’s Day celebration was underway. How could that be? It was September!
However, being good Irish lads, known as Leadville Judge Neil Reynolds and businessman Walt Klein, the two joined in the fun and then brought the idea back to America’s highest city. Since then, September’s “Slainte!” toast continues to be raised among the changing aspens, making for the perfect combination of gold and green!
All marchers are welcome, meet in front of the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum on W. 9th Street just before noon. If you’re interested in donating to the cause, which includes paying for the bagpipers, etc, please contact Parade Organizer Luke Finken at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cemetery Gathering on Sunday
If you’re interested in learning more about local cemeteries then why not join some others who will be gathering in the Leadville Hebrew Cemetery this Sunday, Sept. 15? Temple Israel Leadville historian Janice Fox will give a brief talk about the history of the cemetery, as well as take questions. Fox’s walk and talk will likely begin at around 11 a.m. but is being offered as part of the fall cemetery cleanup efforts.
Synagogue of the Summit will be cleaning up the on Sunday morning, Sept 15th. All are welcome to come on out and help. Please leave your animals at home. Please do not bring power tools; small hand tools or rakes are a good idea, though. Also important are work or garden gloves, water bottle, and
a hat for the sun.
If folks do not wish to do any cleanup activities, they are welcome to bring a small folding chair or camp stool with them and just sit down and watch and relax.