Brainerd Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day With Parade
Crowds lined the streets of downtown Brainerd as the town celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. Floats, vehicles, and mascots traveled past crowds of people handing out candy on a beautiful sunny day. 31 groups took part in the parade, coming a long way from the event’s humble beginnings in 2000.
Steven Shepherd, the parade’s coordinator, began the tradition with a two-man team. He hooked a wagon to the back of a lawn tractor, attached a chair to the back, and rode around town with a friend of his. While onlookers had no idea what was going on, he wasn’t fazed, and the parade has continued to grow ever since.
Shepherd estimates that there were thousands of people who attended the parade. The beautiful weather helped contribute to this year’s popularity.
“I’ve had some brutal ones where you’re wearing hats and gloves and you’re still freezing, so this is like a gift from heaven,” said Shepherd. “It was a great day for everybody.”
In addition to the parade, several restaurants were serving holiday food such as corned beef and cabbage.