GALLIPOLIS — The French City is going to become a bit Irish this weekend as the Saint Patrick’s Cultural Festival and Parade will be spending its fourth year in Gallipolis.
According to Artisan Shoppe Manager Kelsey Kerr, the parade starts at 1 p.m. to travel down Second Avenue with participants lining up at noon. For those who haven’t registered with the parade yet, Kerr said the parade will accept last minute entries and add them to the end of the line. She said currently there are close to 30 entries.
The event serves as a fundraiser in part for the Artisan Shoppe and Gallia Artisan Market as nonprofit organizations.
“The festival starts from 12 to four that day where we’ll have live music on the state throughout the whole festival,” said Kerr. “We’ll have a little kid leprechaun costume contest and there will be the 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry who will represent north and south (American Civil War) soldiers and they will be doing drills and skirmishes throughout the festival.”
The festival and parade were started by Kerr and her mother Valerie Thomas after having spent time living in Orlando, Fla. According to Kerr, both have a strong Celtic background. Kerr learned to Irish dance in Florida.
“Every year we were involved in the Winter Park’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and there was a show after,” said Kerr. “We thought it was a nice thing and celebrating the holiday in general. When we moved here back to mom’s hometown, we noticed there wasn’t anything celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. We thought that needed to change and that this would be a good opportunity to start a parade and festival celebration.”
Saint Patrick’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Patrick, is traditionally held March 17 and serves as a religious and cultural celebration recognizing the death date of Saint Patrick. The Christian feast day is observed by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion Church to remember the introduction of Christianity in Ireland and Irish culture.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.