Harp & Shamrock Society Schedules Saint Patrick's River Parade for 2017 on San Antonio River

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River parade sponsored by Harp & Shamrock Society is only St. Patrick's Day River Parade in the World; features barges filled with Irish Music, Dance and Song

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2016

The St. Patrick’s Day River parade—the only one of its kind in the world—will occur Saturday, March 18, 2017 in downtown San Antonio, on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, beginning at 4 p.m..

The parade occurs on 2-1/2 miles of the San Antonio River, which is dyed green at 2 p.m. that day and renamed “The River Shannon” for the day. 15 decorated river barges will be filled with Irish bagpipes and drummers, Irish step dancers, music and singers to entertain the hundreds of thousand San Antonians and their visitors who line the Riverwalk.

The first St. Patrick’s River Parade was started in 1969 by the Harp & Shamrock Society, and continues to this day with no interruptions. The Paseo del Rio Association is also a co-producer.

The Harp & Shamrock Society has been “Keeping Irish History and Culture Alive” in central and south Texas for more than 50 years. Harp & Shamrock offers opportunities for Texans to experience Irish culture and tradition through music, arts, dance, sports and food. The Irish role in Texas history is remembered and honored through many events, from the only St. Patrick’s Day River Parade in the world and dying the SA River green, to the wreath laying at the Alamo honoring the 35 Irish descendants who fought and died there. Members and the public also get together for fun social events such as Irish stew or soda bread cook-offs, fun runs and golf tournament. Scholarships are awarded to college-bound students in order to preserve and communicate Irish-Texan history to the next generation.

Other St. Patrick’s Day festivities sponsored by the Harp & Shamrock Society—all of which are open to the public—that same weekend will include:

  • Friday, March 17, 2017, noon -1 p.m. – Harp & Shamrock Wreath Laying Ceremony, honoring Irish heroes present at the Battle of the Alamo – Alamo grounds
  • Friday, March 17, 2017, 2 – 9 p.m. – Annual St. Patrick’s Music Festival at Arneson River Theatre, with non-stop schedule of Irish bands, singers and dancers
  • Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18, 2017, 2 – 9 p.m. – St Patrick’s Day Festival. Co-sponsored by HSS, Paseo Del Rio and the City of San Antonio, the festival offers Irish and Texan beer and food, arts and crafts, and the Society’s “Passport to Ireland” exhibit. This interactive exhibit offers genealogy research, history of early Irish Texans, introduction to Gaelic language and bag pipe, Kiss the Blarney Stone and much more.
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017, 8:30 a.m. – 34th Annual Donovan’s 5K Run & Fitness Walk with chip timing by IAAP. Lady Bird Johnson Park, 10700 Nacogdoches Rd. This is the longest running 5K run celebrating Irish heritage in San Antonio, held in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day; it is also one of the longest running 5K runs in the city.
  • Saturday, March 18, noon - 9 p.m. – St. Patrick's Music Festival at Arneson River Theatre
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017, 4 p.m. – St. Patrick’s River Parade.

Harp & Shamrock Society Fiesta medals will be on sale at all these events and at the Fiesta Commission Store, while supplies last.

For information, visit http://www.harpandshamrock.org or the Society’s Facebook page, or call 210-896-1598.

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Jeanne Albrecht

Dianne Powell

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