St. Paddy’s parade on Sunday

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2017
Last year, two camels marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Expect them again this year!

HOLMES BEACH – The Beach Bistro’s 20th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will happen on Sunday, March 18 at 4 p.m.

Those wanting to participate will need to gather at 2 p.m. to check in.

According to Bistro owner Sean Murphy, the idea for the parade was hatched in a bar. Murphy and journalist Vin Mannix were toasting St. Patrick’s parades of their youth, and they decided to have a parade of their own on the Island.

The Beach Bistro parade is now the biggest St. Patrick’s Day Parade south and east of Savannah, Ga. Murphy said it may also be the only St. Patrick’s Day Parade south and east of Savannah, Ga.

The parade will start from Eat Here, near the corner of Marina Drive and Gulf Drive, and proceed north along Marina Drive and then Palm Drive. It ends at 79th Street in Holmes Beach.

The parade will feature high school bands, pipe bands, floats and the mascot from the Pittsburgh Pirates, an associate sponsor of the parade.

The parade will be led by Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson, World War II veteran Bob Schweiger, who was in the second wave at Omaha Beach in the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, and a Korean War veteran called Mr. Bill, according to Murphy.

When questioned about his motivation for creating and continuing the parade, Murphy responded he did it for his kids when they were little. It was great fun for the family to have its own parade. He says they do it now for all the kids and all the families.