World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade Returns To Bemidji
Bemidji celebrated St. Patrick’s Day this weekend with a tiny tradition that packs a lot of fun in a short amount of time. There’s a few things that are essential to the holiday every year: good friends, good music, green beverages and a parade.
“Officially, not the 2,000th or 3,000th. It’s about the 12th,” says Mitch Rautio, the owner of the Keg N’ Cork.
“It’s a great community event! It’s so fun! People get really into it and beads and everything’s flying all over,” says Hope, who attended this year’s parade.
The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade started with a swooshing competition to get the crowd pumped. The parade tradition started 12 years ago by a few observant bar owners.
“We came up with the idea for doing a St. Patrick’s Day parade. We thought it was pretty unique to have Irish pubs on one block so close to each other,” says Rautio.
The parade starts at Brigid’s Pub, then goes right down the street to Keg N’ Cork.
“It changes every year. So this year, it went from the north from Brigid’s to Keg, and next year it will go from Keg to Brigid’s, and it is a whole, we say about, 78 steps,” says Rautio.
The parade lasts about five minutes total. Then, there’s some dancing and it’s a wrap. Most attendees wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rautio says, “I think it’s great just because of the time of year. We’re getting done with winter. Spring is here and everybody’s excited to be outside.”
First time parade attendee Molly, adds “It’s so fun, and I went to college here so it’s so much fun to come back and enjoy something that we didn’t have in college.”