While the Mardi Gras parades have all run their course, more fun is to be had in the streets of Eureka Springs. The Saint Patrick’s Day parade is taking place on Saturday March 16th this year.
As the old saying goes, “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!” For the rest of us, St. Patrick’s Day is one of Eureka Springs’ major holidays and it is a chance to be Irish in spirit if not in genealogy.
The parade will start on Spring St. at 2 p.m. and wind its way to the courthouse downtown, less than a mile from our Inn. Come in green and you will be invited to march in the parade. What fun! An annual event since 1993, the parade is very colorful, just like Eureka Springs.
The parade is headed by the Krewe of Blarney Halfast Walkin’ Klub. The Kaptains consists of professionals, business men and political officials, all wearing tuxedos carrying Flower Canes. There is also usually a pub crawl downtown – get yourself a pint of green beer!
A Little ‘Saint Patrick’ History
I think he would approve of green beer, don’t you?
St. Patrick (circa 340 to 460 AD) was a British-born Christian missionary and is one of the three patron saints of Ireland. Patrick, captured by Irish raiders at age 16 and taken from his native Wales to Ireland as a slave, lived there six years before escaping. After entering the church, he returned to Ireland as a missionary. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland.
It appears Patrick was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him survive, along with later hagiographies — books of saints’ lives — from the seventh century onward.
Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes. One suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that era. Legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, or three-leaf clover, using it as a metaphor for that Christian belief.
March 17 is believed to be his death date and is the date celebrated as his feast day. St. Patrick has never been formally canonized by a Pope. Even so, he is still widely venerated in Ireland and elsewhere today.